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July 17, 2017
3.5 million lives improved: The SDG Fund presents project results



On the sidelines of the opening day of the 2017 session of the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), the Sustainable Development Goals Fund (SDG Fund) organized a side event on the theme, ‘Prosperity in Action: Results from the Sustainable Development Goals Fund.’ During the discussion, speakers highlighted the need to fully empower women, build greater trust and collaboration among different actors, including the private sector, and to promote female entrepreneurship through access to finance and training.

Paloma Duran, Director of the SDG Fund, introduced this UN mechanism for the achievement of the 2030 Agenda and its approach, noting that over 22 countries are engaged in SDG Fund projects. She highlighted that the Fund requires projects to involve matching funds and countries must have stakeholder committees, both of which ensure that there is local ownership of projects. She noted that the SDG Fund works on two tracks – implementation in the field and engagement of people who do not usually work with the UN, such as private sector and academia representatives. Duran also called attention to an upcoming launch of the second round of proposals and the Fund’s online library for reports related to the SDGs. "Since we started two years ago, our programmes have improved the lives of 3.5 million beneficiaries. Of course this is just a fraction of the ultimate goal but at least it is something", said Duran.


We appreciate the SDG Fund's very concrete approach in their projects, their easy and trackable results, its focus on women and its accent in engaging the private sector

Antonio Parenti
Minister Counsellor and Head of Section Economics, Trade and Development of the Delegation of the EU to the UN

Antonio Parenti, Minister Counsellor and Head of Section Economics, Trade and Development of the Delegation of the EU to the UN, said the European Union is the fourth largest donor in the world, and some of this funding is directed through agencies such as the SDG Fund. He highlighted the Fund’s concrete approach with trackable results and involvement of the private sector. "We appreciate the SDG Fund's very concrete approach in their projects, their easy and trackable results, its focus on women and its accent in engaging the private sector", said Parenti.

Vinicius Carvalho Pinheiro, Special Representative to the UN and Director of the International Labour Organization (ILO), noted that the leaders of labor, who are the ILO’s traditional constituents, are not the creators of jobs. Therefore, he said the ILO has undertaken efforts to work with other actors. He said the SDG’s inclusive growth concept requires an approach that is outside the ILO’s usual area of focus, and highlighted that, by connecting with other institutions, the ILO has enhanced its impact. "In order to create jobs, we need to connect with all the actors at country level, not only ministers of labor and unions, but also representatives of Finances, Infrastructures, companies, SMEs and other UN agencies. By connecting with other actors we are enhancing our impact, and that is pretty much the nature of the SDG Fund", said Pinheiro.

The Sahara Group’s Chief Executive Officer, Tonye Cole, discussed his work as a member of the SDG Fund’s global private sector advisory group, and emphasized the importance of closing the trust gap with the private sector and building partnerships.

Maria Noel Vaeza, UN Women's Director of the Programme Division, discussed the role of women in economic empowerment, which she emphasized is a precondition for many goals. She noted that every goal includes opportunities to underline the role of women in implementing that goal. She said the SDG Fund’s requirement for matching funds ensures local engagement, and described efforts to accelerate the empowerment of women farmers and pastoralists. "Gender equality is a precondition of the SDGs implementation. If fifty percent of the planet is not included in development, it will be very difficult to have a just and fair development", said Vaeza.

Ambassador Modest Mero, Permanent Representative of Tanzania to the UN, discussed examples of development projects in his country, including sanitation, infrastructure and education. He noted that roads open access to markets. Mero also reported that his country has achieved the goal of 100% primary school attendance. "In Tanzania, many children do not attend to school because they suffer hunger. This is where the SDG Fund is helping us, enabling the poor households to access food and income, and to increase school enrollment and attendance", said Mero.

Gender equality is a precondition of the SDGs implementation because If fifty percent of the planet is not included in development, it will be very difficult to have a just and fair development

Maria Noel Vaeza
UN Women's Director of the Programme Division

In Tanzania, many children do not attend to school because they suffer hunger. This is where the SDG Fund is helping us, enabling the poor households to access food and income, and to increase school enrollment and attendance

Modest Mero
Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Tanzania to the UN

In order to create jobs, we need to connect with all the actors at country level, from ministers of labor and unions, to representatives of Finance, Infrastructures, companies, SMEs and other UN agencies. By connecting with other actors we are enhancing our impact, and that is pretty much the nature of the SDG Fund

Vinicius Carvalho Pinheiro
Special Representative to the UN and Director of ILO
  

This is a version of the story originally published by IISD on 11 July 2017. Read it here