TWN Info Service on Finance and Development (Sept20/01)
1 September 2020
Third World Network

Dear friends and colleagues,

We are pleased to share with you a briefing paper titled “Financing for Development in the Era of COVID-19 and Beyond” published by Global Policy Forum Europe, Bread for the World and MISEREOR in advance of the upcoming Ministerial Meeting on Financing for Development at the United Nations on 8 September, 2020.

The paper by Bodo Elmers provides a comprehensive summary of the ongoing work of the UN in these times of crisis. Below are more details and you can download the briefing paper here.

With best wishes,

Third World Network

Financing for Development in the Era of COVID-19 and Beyond

A snapshot of the ongoing work at the United Nations in times of crisis

By Bodo Ellmers

Download this Briefing (pdf version)

This briefing paper looks at the financing for development (FfD) work at the United Nations in 2020, an exceptional year due to outbreak of the global coronavirus crisis in the spring. Following this shock, FfD became a highly relevant issue on the UN agenda. The FfD process as originally scheduled was redesigned, with the FfD Forum originally scheduled for April cut down from four days of face-to-face meetings to a virtual session that lasted for just one hour. An official outcome document was adopted anyway, however free of concrete commitments that would match the needs of coping with the crisis.

In late May, Canada, Jamaica and the UN Secretary-General took the initiative to convene the High-Level Event on Financing for Development in the Era of COVID-19 and Beyond, which saw unprecedented participation by heads of states and governments, and eventually led to the foundation of six thematic working groups mandated to develop policy options on pertinent FfD topics – such as debt relief and illicit financial flows – or even wider sustainable development issues such as growth, labor, and the rather abstract concept of recovering better.

This briefing paper is a snapshot that maps, summarizes and briefly analyses the work on FfD at UN level that took place in 2020, until mid-August. In doing so, it aims to create more transparency about this important UN workstream, help to disseminate its preliminary outcomes, and mobilize and enable more actors to participate constructively in this work. A strong and effective multilateral response to the crisis, with the UN at its center, will be crucial to mitigating the impact of the coronavirus crisis and ensuring a speedy recovery.

Introduction – an extraordinary year for FfD

The crisis’s impact on development finance

The UN’s FfD agenda revamped

The 2020 virtual FfD Forum

The FfD forum outcome document

Financing for Development in the Era of COVID-19 and Beyond

The six Discussion Groups and their work

Group 1: External Finance and Remittances, Jobs and Inclusive Growth

Group 2: Recovering Better for Sustainability

Group 3: Global liquidity and financial stability

Group 4: Debt Vulnerability

Group 5: Private sector creditors engagement

Group 6: Illicit Financial Flows