Bangladesh among top 3 SDG performers

The Sustainable Development Report 2021 has placed Bangladesh among the top three countries that have performed well in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) index score since the adoption of the 2030 global agenda in 2015.

Côte d'Ivoire and Afghanistan are the other two countries that have improved most on the SDG Index, according to the report released by the Sustainable Development Solution Network (SDSN).

The Covid-19 pandemic is a setback for sustainable development everywhere.

The report, however, said that the Covid-19 should not lead to a prolonged reversal in SDG progress. “International commitments, for instance towards climate neutrality, must be rapidly accompanied by transformative actions and investments. Large fiscal packages of major economies present an opportunity to foster a green, digital, and inclusive recovery.”

Global challenges, including pandemics but also climate change and the biodiversity crisis, require a strong multilateral system.

Damage to ecosystems and nature may lead to the emergence of other zoonotic diseases and pathogens; possibly with a much higher case fatality rate next time.

Climate change has already led to a sharp rise in natural disasters, including droughts, typhoons, the impact of rising sea levels, and heat waves.

The digital revolution has moved many supply chains online but also increased the risk of widespread cyberattacks. No country can singlehandedly prevent, respond, and recover from these global shocks.

Now more than ever, the multilateral system must be supported to work effectively. Strengthening preparedness, coordinated responses, and resilience to critical risks are key to supporting the Decade of Action for the SDGs launched by the UN Secretary-General in 2019.

The SDGs and the Six SDG Transformations can inform a sustainable, inclusive, and resilient recovery from COVID 19.

While the pandemic is a setback for sustainable development, the SDGs along with the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Climate Agreement provide the right compass for "building forward better".

Before the pandemic hit, significant progress had been achieved on the SDGs in many regions and on many goals – especially in East and South Asia, which has progressed more on the SDG Index than any other region since the goals' adoption in 2015, according to the executive summary of the report.

Low-income developing countries (LIDCs) lack the fiscal space to finance emergency response and investment-led recovery plans aligned with the SDGs.

COVID-19 has highlighted the limited capacity of LIDCs to tap market financing.

While the governments of high-income countries have borrowed heavily in response to the pandemic, LIDCs have been unable to do so because of their lower market creditworthiness.

The major short-term implication of the difference in fiscal space of high-income and low-income countries is that rich countries are likely to recover from the pandemic more quickly than poor countries.

There are at least four key ways to increase the fiscal space of the LIDCs. The first is improved global monetary management, notably improved liquidity for the LIDCs.

The second is improved tax collection supported by several global tax reforms. The third is increased financial intermediation by the multilateral development banks (MDBs) to support long-term development financing. The fourth is debt relief.