ASIA-Pacific countries, including the Philippines, only need to invest less than $1 per day per person to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, according to the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (Unescap).
In a Unescap report cited in its blog, the UN agency said this is equivalent to only 5 percent of 2018 GDP annually up to 2030, or an additional of $1.5 trillion every year until 2030. In 2018, the Philippines GDP was estimated at P9.21 trillion at constant prices, or P17.43 trillion in current prices.
Given a population of around 107.58 million, according to the population clock of the Commission on Population and Development, the BusinessMirror estimates this would translate to about P11.72 per day per Filipino using constant prices, or P22.19 per day at current prices.
“Less than a dollar per person per day. That is all it will cost developing countries in Asia and the Pacific to realize their ambitions for an inclusive and sustainable future,” Unescap said.
“The price of the ticket for the journey toward the SDGs is affordable for all if we work together and change our mindset toward putting people and the planet first,” it added.
Unescap estimated that investing 92 cents per person per day will help Asia-Pacific countries end extreme poverty and malnutrition, provide basic health care, a quality basic education, clean energy and an enabling infrastructure for all while strengthening resilience to climate risks and protecting nature.
This includes an investment of 43 cents per person per day for targeted income transfers, social protection, nutritional interventions, agricultural and rural development, a quality education for every child and youth, and basic health care for all.
37 cents for natural wealth
Another 37 cents per person per day can help protect natural wealth and secure the planet’s future by making economic growth less resource-intensive and more environment-friendly. This includes an important shift to clean energy for all.
An additional investment of 12 cents per person per day will equip the region with key infrastructure needed for human and material well-being—climate-resilient roads and railways, fixed and mobile broadband, and water and sanitation services for all.
“The SDGs will become affordable for all countries in the region with strong development partnerships and regional cooperation,” Unescap said.
“Besides the usual mix of public and private financing, let us not forget that the private financial sector in the developing Asia-Pacific region manages some $51 trillion in assets. There is certainly room for better allocation of capital, so that our investments reflect our priorities as a society, going beyond near-term profit maximization to long-term social returns.”
However, Unescap said the costs will not be shared evenly as some countries, especially those whose development challenges are greater.
Unescap said least-developed countries in South Asia and Asia Pacific need to invest at least more than twice as much as the regional average— between $2 and $3 per person per day.
The SDGs are composed of 17 goals with around 169 targets with 230 global indicators adopted in September 2015. Around 155 indicators with 92 targets under the 17 SDGs are in the approved initial list of SDG indicators for monitoring in the Philippines.
The Global Goals aim to end poverty and hunger, promote universal health, education for all and lifelong learning, achieve gender equality, sustainable water management, ensure sustainable energy for all, decent work for all, resilient infrastructure, and reduce income inequality between and among countries.
The goals also aim to: create sustainable cities, ensure sustainable consumption and production, take action against climate change, conserve and sustainably use oceans and marine resources, reduce biodiversity loss, achieve peaceful and inclusive societies, and revitalize global partnership for development.
Image credits: AP/Aaron Favila