Last week the key players in funding for development gathered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for the third International Conference on Financing for Development.
This summit - crucial in the year when we will see the development framework evolve - sought an agreement on how the post-2015 sustainable development goals (SDGs) will be funded. At Marie Stopes International, we recognise the significance of this challenge, and were honoured to have two representatives in Addis to engage with potential and current partners from around the world.
This was the first of three significant milestones for the international community in 2015. September will see the finalisation of the SDGs in New York and in December, Paris will host the UN’s Climate Conference.
A Global Finance Facility (GFF) in support of Every Woman Every Child was launched in Addis. This initiative, backed by the UN, the World Bank and multiple governments, will align $12 billion of public and private funding to support national plans for women’s, children’s and adolescent’s health in four GFF front-runner countries – the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania. A second wave will then support eight more countries, including Bangladesh, India, Nigeria, Senegal and Uganda.
Member states also adopted the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, a framework that will guide the mobilising of financial resources and launch new initiatives to finance the proposed SDGs. UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, hailed this as “a major step forward in building a world of prosperity and dignity for all”. The framework includes over 100 measures that will, if implemented, enable the investments needed to meet the world’s most pressing challenges.
During the conference there was discussion on a range of themes: traditional development aid continuing to be catalytic; the need for aid to be complemented by greater resources from private finance and philanthropy, and domestic resource mobilisation (including improved tax collection); the role of corporate partnerships in achieving the SDGs; and the importance of innovative financing and technologies.
The Action Agenda’s ambitions - to help developing countries achieve self-reliance and economic transformation through greater domestic and private financing - are welcome. What we and other service organisations will be looking at is whether the Agenda has the teeth to scale up existing resources and ensure traditional donors deliver on commitments made.
Commitments made in Addis Ababa must translate into concrete action - and greater resources - for those who most need them, so that the post-2015 development agenda leaves no one behind.