Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Nepal faces financing gap to meet SDGs

The government faces financing gap of 38 per cent of the total investment to meet the ambitious target of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.
To bridge the finance gap, the government must widen revenue base, seek more loans and grants from foreign governments and multilateral agencies, and incentivise private and other sectors to encourage to invest in SDGs, as the government is going to face a financing gap of 38 per cent in investment, according to a study conducted by National Planning Commission (NPC) with the support of the Nepal office of the UN Development Programme (UNDP).
According to the study, Nepal needs an average of Rs 2,024.8 billion per year – which is around 58 per cent of the gross domestic product of the current fiscal year – to achieve SDGs by 2030. “The investment will have to be made per year till 2030,” the study reads. “Nepal needs to spend over Rs 30,372 billion – some 14 per cent more than the projection made in February 2018 – during the 15 years of SDGs starting from 2016 to 2030.”
Nepal needs to make plenty of reforms to meet all the targets within the 2030 deadline, as it is projected to face a financing gap of 21 per cent – Rs 585 billion per year – to implement programmes designed to meet SDGs, the study reads, adding that the financing gap has been seen in private sector investment as well, which must be covered by attracting foreign direct investment, debt financing and equity investment.
“Nepal needs to find the alternative source like climate fund to bridge the finance gap,” according to UNDP Resident Representative Ayshanie Medagangoda-Labe. “Apart from that Nepal will have to make structural reforms and enhance capacity of provinces and local levels to meet SDGs,” she added.
Of the total cost, the government must bear around 55 per cent to meet SDGs, according to the study that has calculated the cost of Nepal to achieve the SDGs, ranging from poverty reduction, education, health and environment to clean energy, industrialisation, urban development, information technology and governance.
The SDGs are a set of 17 goals and 169 targets which not only push for economic growth and infrastructure and social development, but quality education and healthcare services, climate action, innovation, sustainable consumption and industrialisation, and decent work. “Unlike MDGs that expired in 2015, which was blamed to be imposed by the Washington DC-based UN, SDGs is the inclusive effort of all the nations,” Medagangoda-Labe said, praising Nepal’s involvement and seriousness to meet the targets of SDGs.
According to the study, Nepal needs to invest over Rs 4,500 billion till 2030 to provide quality education, over Rs 2,000 billion to ensure good health and well-being, and over Rs 2,200 billion to eradicate poverty. “Nepal needs huge investment – over Rs 6,000 billion – in transport, industry and ICT, till 2030 to build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation, and foster innovation,” the study adds.

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