Incoming anti-poverty goals ‘face $73bn funding gap’

16 Apr 15

International donors need to increase their aid funding if global health, education and social protection targets in low-income countries are to be met, the Overseas Development Institute has said.

The ODI warned in its Financing the future report that an annual $73bn gap needed to be bridged in order to eradicate poverty.

The targets, expected to be rolled-out over the next 15 years, are part of the United Nations post-2015 sustainable development goals (SDGs), which aim to build on the progress achieved through the Millennium Development Goals.

The ODI said the targets of universal health care coverage, free primary and secondary schooling, and the development of social protection systems could be achieved by 2030 if both rich and poor governments increased their aid contributions.

If all countries met the 0.7% international aid pledge, there would be more than enough to pay for this $73bn shortfall, the think-tank said.

Denmark, Luxembourg, Norway and Sweden continued to exceed the 0.7% of gross national income as overseas development assistance target. The UK met it for the first time last year.

‘Poor people are increasingly living in fragile states, but aid flows to these countries haven’t been keeping step. On current projections, if radical change does not occur, over half a billion people will still be in extreme poverty and four million children will die annually from lack of basic healthcare by 2030,’ the report stated.

‘But we can avoid this. Aid won’t solve the whole problem, but if we can mobilise the money and be smart about spending it, we can help to eradicate global poverty over the next 15 years.’

The total cost of delivering the three targets would be $148bn. This comprises: $74bn for health, $32bn for education and $42bn for social protection.

ODI researchers estimated that, despite recent increases in economic growth and tax increases in low-income countries, there would be a funding shortfall of $73bn to meet the goals. Its calculation used estimates of the each country’s tax capacity and existing aid flows, assuming that 50% of resources are spent on the social sectors.

This report comes ahead of the United Nations’ 2015 Financing for Development conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where governments will pledge funds to support the next set of global development targets.

  • Judith Ugwumadu
    Judith Ugwumadu

    Judith writes about public finance, public services and economics across Public Finance International and Public Finance. She previously undertook reporting stints at Financial Adviser, Global Security Finance and The Sunday Express.

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