Innovative Financing for the SDGs: A View from Belarus

UNDP Belarus is ramping up efforts to secure essential funds through applying innovative financing mechanisms, strategic partnerships, and capacity-building initiatives.

June 7, 2024
Photo: UNDP in Belarus

Never before in our history have we had access to such technologies, innovations, and financial mechanisms. Developments in these areas will bring humanity more and more together, render life more interconnected and technological, to expand indefinitely human capacities for good and evil.

Global agreement over the agenda for sustainable development united humanity for remarkable progress. The global average life expectancy is now a record 73 years, 90% of the world's population has access to electricity, and extreme poverty has been reduced threefold.

Scored 69th among 193 countries and territories Belarus continues to remain in the list of countries with "very high level of human development,". The country also ranks 37th globally in achieving sustainable development goals

However, the future is not cloudless. After 32 years of continuous growth, the Human Development Index started to decline in over 90% of the world's countries. The UN Sustainable Development Goal Report 2023 warns that, at current rates, none of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will be fully achieved. 

The 2023 UN Conference on Trade and Development shows that US$4 trillion a year is needed to achieve the SDGs by the year 2030. This is 60% more than we thought 10 years ago.

In the context of modern crises, many countries started to shift their focus from long-term development priorities to emergency responses. As a result, financing for the SDGs demands more resources, while opportunities for long-term investments are scarce.

Supporting Countries in Development Financing

UNDP developed the Integrated National Financing Framework (INFF), enabling countries to devise a financing strategy for sustainable development while effectively managing potential risks

This framework is underway in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Last year. UNDP has started this work in Belarus. 

Exploring More Options for Development Financing in Belarus

In 2022, UNDP, in collaboration with the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection, and other partners, assessed 25 government programs for their SDGs contributions. 

This assessment revealed several key findings. Firstly, the current practice of calculating the contribution to the SDGs largely considers the direct impact of budgetary expenditures, placing less emphasis on the indirect results in sustainable development. Secondly, over 60% of activities are directed towards meeting the SDG targets. Additionally, the government allocates the largest amount of funding to such areas as sustainable urban development, food security, quality education, and healthcare.

More investments are needed in green and circular economy, climate change. 

Facilitating Green Finance Development 

The UNDP's work in Belarus focuses on promoting the green transition and implementing the climate change agenda. Recently, we have assisted in developing the first and second National Plans for Green Economy, concepts for a Circular Economy, and Low-Carbon Development Strategy.

Apart from this we collaborated with national partners to set a plan in the country’s National Determined Contributions (NDCs) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 35%. Proposals are now set to increase this target to 37%, based on 1990 levels.

We also supported Belarus in developing carbon markets and improving its access to carbon finance, tested methodologies for measuring, reporting, and verification of carbon emissions, and are currently working on the National Plan for Climate Change Adaptation.

Improving Government Programme Approaches 

We partnered with the Ministry of Agriculture and Food to undertake a comprehensive assessment of the financing of the agri-food sector.

Looking Ahead

Addressing new challenges demands innovative solutions and coordinated efforts from all sides.

UNDP supports with devising effective strategies, spearheads innovative approaches for development in Belarus through focusing on building strong partnerships for sustainable future for all.