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This webinar was hosted by The Foundation for Studies and Research on International Development (FERDI) and featured CGD president Masood Ahmed along with other development experts.
SDGs are universal, but in many cases provide for specific treatment for certain categories of countries, mainly LDCs (as well as Small Island and/or vulnerable states). This specific treatment mainly concerns financing (preferences for ODA allocation or for grant/loan sharing, incentives for private sector financing).
There is thus a general problem of differentiating the financing of ODA according to the characteristics of the countries concerned. Can this problem, which is most often dealt with through categories with discussed contours, be dealt with more continuously through criteria corresponding to the logic of the categories and reflecting the ODA, in particular by taking into account the structural vulnerabilities of the countries, and not only their per capita income? It is indeed necessary to take into account vulnerabilities both in the allocation of aid and in the various modalities of international financing. On the other hand, although SDGs repeatedly refer to the case of LDCs and other vulnerable countries, they do not refer to the case of global shocks. The one the world is currently experiencing affects all countries unequally and specifically, thus reinforcing the rationale for the principle of financing allocated according to the vulnerability of each country. This issue will be addressed taking into account the long-term consequences of ongoing debt relief.
This shock also reinforces the idea of targeting international cooperation on the most vulnerable units, which are certainly households but also small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), whose recent expansion was one of the keys to growth in many African countries. Saving this fragile fabric of SMEs is undoubtedly essential if low-income countries are to consider moving towards SDGs: how can international financing contribute to this objective?
This webinar will discuss how the international community could better target the beneficiaries of its actions and adapt its instruments of intervention to help the most vulnerable to face the challenges they face and which compromise the achievement of the SDGs. In a nutshell the purpose is to see what we know to adequately deal with the trade-off between the 2030 Agenda and the response to the crisis generated by the covid19.