Financing Sustainable Development in Arab Countries

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November 2018
Arab Forum for Environment and Development (AFED)

This report, released the 2018 Arab Forum for Environment and Development Annual Conference, identifies financing needs, gaps, options and mechanisms for sustainable development in Arab countries, focusing on sources of finance and addressing enhancement of their roles. 

The report highlights the need to take immediate action to reverse the current trend in the degradation of natural resources, and adopt policies to maintain their bio-capacity to regenerate their services and support sustainable development. Beyond identifying prospective sources of financing, this implies putting in place adequate laws, policies and regulations to stimulate investments in the right direction. While international cooperation commitments need to be honored, cooperation within the region should be enhanced at all levels. Greater efforts need to be exerted to tap private finance for implementing the SDGs, mainly by creating a sound business environment and implanting confidence in the governance of the development process, under the rule of law and political stability.

Since 2008, AFED annual reports on the state of Arab environment have highlighted environmental challenges and recommended solutions. One main challenge underscored in all reports was how to finance the recommended changes. AFED’s 2011 report on Green Economy in a Changing Arab World introduced the concept at the regional level. However, the endorsement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015, combined with the provisions of the Paris climate agreement which followed in the same year, demand a new perspective to identify the requirements of financing sustainable development