UNITED NATIONS, Nov 5 2015 (IPS) - The United Nations has estimated a hefty funding requirement of over 3.5 trillion to 5.0 trillion dollars per year for the implementation of its ambitious post-2015 development agenda, including 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), approved by world leaders in September.
But at least one key question remains unanswered: how will the UN convince rich nations and the world’s multinational corporations to help raise the necessary trillions to reach those global goals, including the eradication of poverty and hunger by 2030?
According to the UN, there is at least one “hidden source” for development funding, primarily for the world’s most impoverished continent: capturing the illicit financial outflows from Africa, estimated at over 50 billion dollars annually.
James Zhan, Director of Investment and Enterprise at the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), told delegates that tackling illicit financial flows was essential for Africa to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
The estimated resources leaving Africa in the form of illicit financial transfers, he pointed out, was nearly 530 billion dollars between 2002 and 2012.
“That was a huge cost for the continent’s development as those resources could have been invested into Africa’s economic development and structural transformation.”
He said illicit financial flows undermined institutions, drained the state of much needed economic resources, reduced the development resource base and led to higher domestic tax burdens to fill the resource gap.
The 17 SDGs also include quality education, improved health care, gender equality, sustainable energy, protection of the environment and global partnership for sustainable development.