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Debates in Development

Is there any hope for mobilizing the trillions needed for the SDGs?

Moderated by CGD President Masood Ahmed

When world leaders meet at the United Nations on September 26 to review progress towards meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), one issue on the agenda will be whether the world is on track to mobilize the necessary funding.

Right now, we are nowhere near moving from the billions to trillions of dollars needed to make the SDGs a reality by 2030. And on current plans, we are unlikely to do so. Does that mean we should scale down our ambitions, or can we do a better job of raising the money that’s needed?

Is there any hope for mobilizing the trillions needed for the SDGs? We at CGD put that question to four experts: Vanessa Fajans-Turner of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, Alexia Latortue of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and Mark Plant and Vijaya Ramachandran of CGD. We want to hear from you too—because we all have a vested interest in ensuring the SDGs don’t become unfulfilled aspirations.

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About the Experts

Vanessa Fajans-Turner

Vanessa Fajans-Turner leads SDG Financing at Sustainable Development Solutions Network. Additionally, she is an advisor to the Avatar Alliance Foundation, filmmaker James Cameron's climate and energy grant-making organization, and previously served for 7 years on the Foundation’s leadership team. Fajans-Turner chairs the Citizen Engagement Lab board and co-chairs The Resolution Project advisory board.

Mark Plant

Mark Plant leads the Center's development finance program. His appointment to CGD follows a long career at the International Monetary Fund, where he worked extensively with African countries and later as deputy director of the IMF’s African Department. He is also an adjunct professor of Economics at the University of Virginia.

Vijaya Ramachandran's work focuses on how the business environment affects the productivity of developing country firms, as well as the unintended consequences of rich countries’ anti-money laundering policies on financial inclusion. She has also worked at the World Bank and the United Nations, and her research has appeared in a multitude of research journals, including World Development, Development Policy Review, and Governance.

Alexia Latortue

Alexia Latortue has 20 years of experience in international development and financial systems development. Prior to joining the EBRD's senior leadership team, Latortue was the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Development Policy at the US Department of the Treasury, and prior to that she spent 10 years with the World Bank.