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‘Social, environmental challenges need to be solved through market-driven entrepreneurial opportunities’

  • Published at 08:12 am September 25th, 2021
Zuena Aziz
Zuena Aziz, principal coordinator (SDG Affairs) at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) addresses an online side event of the 76th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on Thursday, September 23, 2021 Courtesy

According to official data, the government will have to mobilize additional funds of $928 billion to implement the SDGs by 2030

To execute the 8th Five Year Plan and also to achieve the SDGs, social and environmental challenges have to be solved through market-driven entrepreneurial opportunities, said Zuena Aziz, principal coordinator (SDG Affairs) at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). 

Zuena made the observation during an online side event of the 76th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on Thursday, read a press release.

The top SDG official spoke at the Business Call to Action Annual Forum event titled “Development in Harmony: Aligning private sector impact with public sector goals through Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) reporting.”

According to the SDG Financing Strategy of Bangladesh, the government will have to mobilize additional funds of $928 billion to implement SDGs by 2030. The share of the private sector is estimated to be 42%.

Also Read - SDGs performance: PM Hasina’s leadership earns huge appreciation

While Bangladesh has made its mark by completing the Development Finance Assessment (DFA) in 2016, the first DFA included only high-level private sector targets, but a more data-driven roadmap to boost sustainability financing and especially private sector sustainability investments is required. 

Under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina with support from the Economic Relations Division and other relevant ministries, the Bangladesh government is now updating the Development Finance Assessment (DFA) and Financing Strategy (FS), in alignment with its 8th Five Year Plan, to include a private sector sustainability investment roadmap. 

This is done under the aegis of the joint program (JP) called Integrated National Financing Framework (INFF) for Accelerating Achievement of SDGs (INFF4SDGs) in Bangladesh, to boost public and private SDG financing with support from UNDP together with UNCDF, UN Women, ILO and the UN leadership of the Resident Coordinator (UNRCO). 

The government is supporting the process of setting up a governance and coordination mechanism, between the government and private sector. 

In this regard, Zuena said that the first sector-wide SDG impact management report was released in Bangladesh last March, highlighting the impact of the apparel sector on the national priorities and of the Bangladesh government and related SDGs.

Also Read - Bangladesh performing well in fulfilling SDGs, but many challenges ahead

This report was done with support from the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), UNDP, and Global Reporting Initiative (GRI).  

A total of 47 BGMEA member factories voluntarily self-reported on their sustainability impact showcasing both their contribution to economic growth as well as to the attainment of national priorities and SDGs through employment; supporting healthcare of the workforce; investing in up-skilling the workforce; adopting resource recycling and increasingly uses of renewable energy among others. 

A scale-up phase is being planned to include a hundred factories by the end of this year. 

This collaborative effort is especially important as it follows the milestone achieved by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, by winning the SDG Progress Award at the Ninth Annual International Conference of the United Nations Sustainable Development solutions network in New York, earlier this week, added the release.

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