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Ms. Dora Benedek, Mr. Edward R Gemayel, Mr. Abdelhak S Senhadji, and Alexander F. Tieman
The COVID-19 pandemic hit countries’ development agendas hard. The ensuing recession has pushed millions into extreme poverty and has shrunk government resources available for spending on achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This Staff Discussion Note assesses the current state of play on funding SDGs in five key development areas: education, health, roads, electricity, and water and sanitation, using a newly developed dynamic macroeconomic framework.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

Selected Issues

Thomas Alexander, Ms. Claudia H Dziobek, and Tadeusz Galeza
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2015 represent a new global consensus to end poverty, promote prosperity, and protect the environment. Goal 8 seeks to improve global resource efficiency in consumption and production and to decouple economic growth (GDP) from environmental degradation while Goal 12 focuses on sustainable consumption and production. While GDP does not capture these broader goals, we suggest that the System of National Accounts which incorporates but goes well beyond GDP, can be used for the measurement of these SDGs and to support policy. We construct a conceptual “super balance sheet” with an expanded asset boundary to include durable consumer goods used to produce services, human capital, and access to resources such as clean water and air, education, health, and infrastructure, to produce an expanded household net worth.
Simonetta Nardin

As part of its conditionality review, the IMF has organized a series of discussions on its proposals, holding seminars in Berlin in June (see IMF Survey, July 2, page 218) and in Tokyo in July (see IMF Survey, July 30, page 249). A third forum—cosponsored by the Commonwealth Secretariat, the World Bank, and the IMF and held in London on July 23-24—covered issues related to conditionality and ownership particularly relevant to low-income countries. The seminar was co-chaired by Winston Cox, Commonwealth Deputy Secretary-General; Masood Ahmed, Deputy Director of the IMF’s Policy Development and Review Department; and Joanne Salop, Vice-President for the World Bank’s Operations Policy and Country Services. It brought together representatives of borrowing and creditor countries, international organizations, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and a number of other individuals with relevant expertise and experience.

ISMAIL SERAGELDIN

For the latest thinking about the international financial system, monetary policy, economic development, poverty reduction, and other critical issues, subscribe to Finance & Development (F&D). This lively quarterly magazine brings you in-depth analyses of these and other subjects by the IMF’s own staff as well as by prominent international experts. Articles are written for lay readers who want to enrich their understanding of the workings of the global economy and the policies and activities of the IMF.