60 agencies urgeco-ordinated response as COVID-19 threatens poor countries’ finances

The UN Inter-agency Task Force on Financing for Development (IATF) published its 2020 Financing for Sustainable Development Report which provides a comprehensive assessment of progress in all action areas of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda. It tackles the gaps, opportunities and challenges of digital finance vis-à-vis the COVID-19 crisis. The report calls upon governments to take immediate steps to prevent a potentially devastating debt crisis and address the economic and financial havoc fashioned by COVID-19. To this aim, the report looks further at how digital technologies are changing financing, including the financial sectors, public finance, and development pathways (trade and investment). It outlines policy options across the Addis Agenda action areas to take advantage of the outstanding potential of digital technologies. The report puts forward a new approach to ensure that technological change supports the implementation of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) through prioritising digital inclusion and labour-enhancing development pathways.