SDG Financing

Filling the gap and reorienting public and private investment towards the Sustainable Development Goals

Main Contacts

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Lisa Kurbiel
Head of Secretariat
Massimiliano Riva
Massimiliano Riva
Investment Advisor
Nomindari Enkhtur
Portfolio Management Consultant
Heidi Simpson
Heidi Simpson
Portfolio Management Associate

Why SDG Financing?

World leaders have made ambitious commitments to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Yet, securing enough resources remains a major challenge, with developing countries facing a gap estimated between US$2.5–3 trillion per year. Financing is theoretically available, given the size, scale and level of sophistication of the global financial system—with gross world product and global gross financial assets estimated at over US$85 trillion and US$ 200 trillion respectively.

While the world has never been as rich as it is today, financial flows and wealth, mostly private, do not (or cannot) reach the geographies and people that need them the most. There is no lack of opportunities to fill the gap and reorient public and private investment towards the SDGs. SDGs are being increasingly integrated into public budgets and development cooperation. Not only Governments, but also the financial markets and investors have positively reacted, by starting to demand and claim a stronger integration of the SDGs in public and private investment decisions. Despite opportunities, bottlenecks, and intensified risks—from vulnerability to climate change and economic recessions to health epidemics—persist. Most private investments are still not channeled towards sustainable development at the scale and speed required.

    Crafting a UN Systemic Response

    The UN Joint Fund aims to close the financing gap to achieve the SDGs in developing countries through systemic action by the UN system. This work is fully aligned with the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, while interventions are guided by the Secretary-General’s Strategy and Road Map for Financing the 2030 Agenda.

    The Fund is committed to forge paths and partnerships that unlock public and private capital for the SDGs at scale. The work on SDG Financing is structured around two components:

    • Reinforce the SDG financing architecture (Component 1): The Fund supports the development of financing strategies and enabling frameworks for SDG investment.
    • Catalyze strategic investments (Component 2): The Fund will support key initiatives that can leverage public and private financing to advance the SDGs.

    The Fund operates through open calls for proposals. The 1st Call for a total envelope of $US100 million was closed on March 31, 2020. Download call documents here and read our blog celebrating its launch here.

    In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis 258 proposals were submitted from +100 countries, reflecting a UN systemic response to accelerate the achievements of the SDGs at the time of COVID-19. They all aim to contribute to a future that is more sustainable, climate-resilient, and inclusive.

    Portfolio Overview


    Joint Programmes
    SDG Financing – Component 1
    Rounded Budget
    SDG Financing - Component 1
    $ m
    Concept Notes Submitted
    Component 2

    The 1st Call on SDG Financing for Component 1 resulted in the approval in June 2020 of 62 Joint Programmes that constitute a pioneering wave of actions to close the SDG financing gap at the country level, including:

    • (gender-responsive) Integrated National Financing Frameworks with the formulation of SDG-aligned financing strategies; costing of SDGs and public budget tagging; reforms in regulatory and legislatively frameworks for the financial sector, and public-private collaboration.
    • Dialogues, alliances, and networks on SDG financing with Government, development banks, the financial sector and a broad range of investors and stakeholders.
    • The strengthening of capacities of public authorities and the broader private sector ecosystem that can lead to a pipeline of impact-driven investments for the SDGs.
    • Feasibility studies for the design of financing solutions that can unlock public and private capital for the SDGs, including market assessments to map opportunities and bottlenecks for SDG enabling investments.

    Country Joint Programme Title
    Albania Strategic policy options for SDG financing
    Armenia Making Finance Work for Transformative Change in Armenia: UN-locking Finance for Armenia 2030
    Azerbaijan Financing the Future - aligning budgeting, planning and mobilizing financing, through an Integrated National Financing Framework (INFF).
    Bangladesh Integrated National Financing Framework for Accelerating Achievement of SDGs (INFF4SDGs) in Bangladesh
    Barbados Harnessing Blue Economy Finance for SIDS Recovery and Sustainable Development
    Belarus Promoting SDG performance-based budgeting that prioritize vulnerable populations in Belarus
    Benin Support the SDG based budgeting in Benin through fiscal space and efficiency enhancement
    Bhutan Building a Bhutan Integrated National Financing Framework for the SDGs and Gross National Happiness (GNH)
    Bolivia Funding guidelines for the response to violence against women and children
    Bosnia and Herzegovina Towards the SDG Financing Ecosystem in Bosnia and Herzegovina
    Botswana Support implementation of SDG financing strategy through an integrated national financing framework
    Burundi Strengthening the architecture and the ecosystem for financing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Burundi: A synergy of actions for integrated solutions
    Cambodia Integrated National Financing Framework (INFF) to Catalyze Blended Finance for Transformative CSDG Achievement
    Cameroon Implementing the Integrated National Financing Framework for Cameroon to unlock, leverage and catalyze resources to accelerate SDG achievement for inclusive growth
    Cape Verde Reinforcing National Planning System by aligning budgeting and planning, and creating the condition to mobilize new financing flows into an enabling ecosystem, through an Integrated National Financing Framework (INFF)
    Colombia Roadmap for an Integrated National Financing Framework in Colombia
    Comoros Strengthening SDG Financing Framework and Ecosystem in Comoros to meet the SDGs
    Congo DR Create an enabling environment to leverage additional financing to accelerate SDG achievement
    Costa Rica Strengthening Costa Rica´s SDG financing architecture through resource alignment with national goals and improved education sector public spending.
    Cuba Support for the development of an Integrated National Financing Framework for the SDGs in Cuba
    Djibouti Integrated Financing for SDGs Acceleration and Resilience in Djibouti
    Ecuador Financing SDGs in Ecuador and targeting chronic child malnutrition
    Egypt UN Joint SDG Fund support to Egypt Integrated SDGs Financing
    Fiji Unlocking SDG Financing in the Pacific
    Gabon Gabon and the SDGs “Beyond Oil”: Financing a Rapid and Sustainable Transition from a “Brown” to a “Green” Economy
    Ghana Accelerating Attainment of SDG in Ghana
    Guatemala Strengthening Guatemala’s Financial Architecture to Finance the Great National Crusade for Nutrition
    Guinea Guinea National Integrated Financing and Implementation Strategy for SDG Achievement by 2030: What do the national SDG targets cost, how to finance them, and what to do to achieve them by 2030 through SDG - sensitive planning, budgeting and monitoring.
    Haiti Haiti in Crisis: A National Consultation on Reform Priorities and Financing Options for Accelerated SDG Achievement
    Jamaica Improving efficiency, effectiveness and equity in Public Expenditure in Jamaica for SDG acceleration.
    Jordan Accelerating Jordan’s Progress towards SDGs by Establishing Building Blocks of an Integrated Financing Framework
    Kazakhstan Aligning policy and financing with SDGs towards an Integrated National Financing Framework in Kazakhstan
    Kyrgyzstan Enhanced financing opportunities and alignment with national sustainable development goals through an Integrated National Financing Framework for Kyrgyzstan
    Lao PDR Efficiency and optimization of Lao PDR’s public budget to finance the SDGs through the National Plan
    Lebanon Gender Responsive National Budgeting and Private Investing for SDG2-Zero Hunger
    Lesotho Joint Programme on Economic and Financial Management Integration for the Achievement of SDGs (JP-EFMIS)
    Malawi Strengthening Malawi's Financing Architecture at National and Local Level (SMFA)
    Malaysia INFF: Developing Financing Partnerships to Accelerate SDG achievements in Malaysia
    Maldives Operationalizing Integrated National Financing Framework in the Maldives to prioritize and mobilize financing for Climate Action and Quality Social Service Delivery to accelerate the achievement of Agenda 2030.
    Mali Joint Programme for Influencing Financing of Human Capital Development in Mali
    Mauritania Institutionalizing and Leveraging Zakat to finance SDGs in Mauritania
    Mexico Improving the allocation of risks and resources for sustainable development.
    Mongolia Rolling Out an Integrated Approach to the SDG financing in Mongolia
    Morocco Roadmap for an Inclusive Sustainable Development Goals Financing Framework
    Namibia Strengthening Namibia's Financing Architecture for Enhanced Quality & Scale of Financing for SDGs
    Nepal Reorienting public finance for SDGs acceleration and leveraging additional resources in Nepal
    Philippines Reaping the Demographic Dividend and Managing the Socio-Economic Impact of COVID-19 by Applying an Integrated National Financing Framework in the Philippines
    Rwanda Enhancing development finance and effectiveness in Rwanda through integrated and innovative approaches for National Priorities and the SDGs
    Samoa Sustainable financing for the 2030 Agenda through viable INFF in Cook Islands, Niue and Samoa
    Sierra Leone Strengthening Domestic Resources Mobilisation for SDGs Financing in Sierra Leone
    South Sudan Strengthened national and subnational public financial management (PFM) mechanisms in South Sudan for increased budget allocations to social service sectors
    Suriname Roadmap for a Sustainable Financial System for Suriname
    Tajikistan Financing SDGs in Tajikistan
    Timor-Leste Integrated National Financing Framework (INFF) and Financial Diversification in Timor-Leste
    Togo Improving development financing for the achievement of SDGs in Togo
    Tunisia Mobilizing public-private, innovative and alternative financing as levers SDG financing architecture for Tunisia
    Uganda Integrating policy and financing for accelerated progress on SDGs in Uganda.
    Ukraine Promoting strategic planning and financing for sustainable development on national and regional level in Ukraine
    Uruguay Reshaping market conditions and strategy to finance the transition to sustainable development in Uruguay
    Uzbekistan Establishment of an Integrated National Financing Framework for Sustainable Development in Uzbekistan
    Vietnam Supporting Viet Nam towards the 2030 integrated Finance Strategy for accelerating the achievement of the SDGs.
    Zambia Zambia’s Integrated Financing Framework for Sustainable Development.

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