Everything about UNESCAP’s ‘Ambition beyond Growth’ Report , SDG progress of Asia Pacific, Investment Plan, Policy Interventions to achieve SDG by 2030

Headline : To achieve development goals, Asia-Pacific countries need to spend USD 1.5 tn/yr, says UN report

Details :

The News

  • UNESCAP’s report ‘ambitions beyond growth’ has projected $1.5trillion as the additional annual cost of meeting the targets set in SDG by 2030 for the countries in the Asia Pacific region.


In focus: UNESCAP’s ‘Ambition beyond Growth’ Report


  • The UNESCAP has released a report called ‘ambitions beyond growth’ as a precursor to ‘SDG Progress Report’ to be released in the near future.
  • The report is summarized in the following framework
  • Progress achieved by Asia Pacific countries in meeting SDGs
  • Policy prescriptions
  • Region-wise investment priorities in the Asia Pacific
  • Prediction of additional investments required to meet SDGs by 2030.


SDG progress of Asia Pacific

  • The progress achieved so far on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals is mixed in Asia Pacific region.
  • Progress is made but not enough to meet targets on
  • SDG 1 (poverty eradication)
  • SDG 3 (health)
  • SDG 4 (quality education)
  • SDG 7 (reliable and clean energy).
  • Asia Pacific has regressed in goals such as
  • SDG 6 (water and sanitation)
  • SDG 8 (decent work)
  • SDG 12 (sustainable consumption and production).



  • High Poverty and Hunger in South and South East Asia
    • 400 million people living in extreme income poverty
    • 931 million people in conditions of multidimensional poverty
    • 486 million people remain undernourished
  • Income Inequality
    • Income inequality has increased with the top 10% people accounting for more than half of income.
    • Reach of social protection benefits is low among extremely vulnerable groups including children, women, old aged and poor.
  • Climate Change
    • GHG emissions have increased 6 fold, from 0.9 to 5.8 metric tons per capita.
    • 5 of the world’s 10 economies most affected by climate change in the past 10 years in Asia Pacific (Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Viet Nam)
  • Job Losses
    • Weaker demand in Europe and United States and trade war between US and China has increased tariffs and a loss of at least 2.7 million jobs.
  • Low social sector spending
    • Low social sector spending as a result of distressed bank assets, high corporate debt and household debt.
  • Late entrant in Manufacturing
    • Countries shifting from an agriculture-based economy to services-based one bypassing the manufacturing sector may reduce the scope for industrialization.


Investment to achieve SDG by 2030

  • Additional annual investment of $1.5 trillion which is equal to $1 per person per day.
  • This is 5% of the combined GDP of Asia-Pacific developing countries in 2018.




Region-wise priorities

  • Least developed countries and South and South-West Asia
    • Should scale up investments to end poverty and hunger and reach health and education targets
  • East and North-East Asia
    • Step up on clean energy and climate action.
  • Pacific island developing States
    • Additional investments in disaster-resilient infrastructure



Policy Interventions to achieve SDG by 2030

Prudent financing

  • Efficient public spending
  • Proactive fiscal policy to support near- and long-term development needs beyond just economic growth.
  • Leveraging private sector
  • Innovative financial instruments such as green bonds
  • Strengthened multilateral financing mechanisms


Strategic investments

  • $669 billion to support basic human rights and develop human capacities
  • $590 billion to achieve clean energy for all and live in harmony with nature
  • $196 billion for improved access to transport, information and communications technology (ICT), and water and sanitation


Structural transformation towards sustainable development

  • Invest in people and enabling infrastructure.
  • Focus on agricultural productivity and rural industries
  • Resource-efficient systems of production and consumption to reduce carbon emissions


Social Protection

  • Targeted cash transfers to eliminate poverty
  • Social protection floor for vulnerable groups including child, maternity, unemployment, disability and old-age



  • Nutrition-specific interventions to address wasting, breastfeeding, anaemia and stunting


Health and Education

  • Additional investment of $158 billion to scale up health systems.
  • Additional investment of $138 billion per year would be needed for providing universal pre-primary to upper-secondary schooling of a certain quality.


Clean Energy and Energy security

  • Additional cost for
  • Shifting from fossil fuel to renewable energy
  • Enhancing energy efficiency in the transport, building and industry sectors
  • Achieving universal access to electricity and clean cooking.


Regional cooperation

  • North-South, South-South and triangular cooperation to accelerate the pace of sustainable development
Section : Social Issues