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New focus on SDGs needed to rebuild after COVID-19: ADB

A renewed focus on achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will be essential as countries seek to rebuild from the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new report by Asian Development Bank (ADB) released on Monday.

"Achieving SDGs will require vast sums of finance to be mobilised from the widest range of sources in support of agenda at a time when governments face mounting pressure on their budgets and soaring public debt," said ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa.

"In 2021 as we map a path to recovery from the pandemic, we must refocus on SDGs. ADB's investments must meet the highest standards of sustainable development and deliver real results that help countries realise the vision set out in strategy 2030 and rebuild for the SDGs."

2020 was to be the start of a decade of action to accelerate progress on SDGs but the COVID-19 pandemic has threatened the region's prospects for achieving the goals. Asia and the Pacific were already off track to meet these ambitious goals before the pandemic began.

The ensuing crisis is estimated to have pushed 162 million people in the region back into poverty and economic growth in developing Asia contracted for first time in 60 years.

At the same time, there has been limited progress on SDGs that protect environment and the region is at the front lines of climate change crisis. There is a huge financing gap to make SDGs a reality.

A green, resilient, inclusive and sustainable recovery from COVID-19 that aligns with SDGs will be imperative, said the report.

The report explains ADB's institutional approach to integrating 17 SDGs and their associated targets into its strategies, programs and financing under its long-term strategy in 2030 through its seven operational priorities. ADB's corporate results framework is fully aligned with SDGs.

ADB projects and programmes that help countries achieve the SDGs like in Indonesia, ADB has helped government establish institutions to coordinate SDGs and develop a road map for SDG implementation, while also supporting the national infrastructure finance company PT SMI to establish the SDG one fund.

In Kazakhstan, ADB helped the government establish platforms for donor coordination in support of national implementation of SDGs.
The ADB ventures platform established in 2020 deploys venture capital investments and technical assistance to support early-stage technology businesses that address SDGs.

It also partners with the United Nations and others to support knowledge and policy dialogue that enables developing member countries to implement SDGs. (ANI)

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