The United Nations (UN) Joint Programme (JP) on aligning policy and financing with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) towards an Integrated National Financing Framework (INFF) in Kazakhstan was officially launched on 27 November 2020. The Programme is financed by the UN Joint SDG Fund and implemented by three UN agencies, namely UNDP, UNICEF and UN ESCAP. It is a continuation of the ongoing support to the Government of Kazakhstan by the UN for the implementation of the global 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The JP in Kazakhstan focuses on the operationalization of the priority reforms required to implement the INFF and build the authorities’ capacity to scale up their ongoing efforts in developing the supporting ecosystems (institutions and actors) to increase the impact of different forms of financial resources towards achieving the SDGs in the country.
The launch event brought together government officials, the donor community, international organizations, as well as representatives of the private and non-governmental sectors. The purpose was to initiate the work towards developing a comprehensive and holistic national financial strategy to help accelerate the country’s progress towards SDGs.
During the event the Secretariat of the SDG Coordination Council presented key findings of the Development Finance Assessment. The assessment was initiated jointly by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and UNDP in 2019 and later updated with the COVID-19 impact in 2020.
“We have reached the point when feasibility of further actions primarily depends on the amount and availability of the financial resources to support sustainable changes within economy, society and environment. The programme is an important continuation of joint efforts aimed at linking all financial instruments and tools into one consistent strategic approach towards SDGs progress acceleration,” stated Yakup Beris, UNDP Resident Representative in Kazakhstan.
UNICEF presented its plans on the child budget monitoring initiative that will be jointly implemented with the Ministry of Education and Science of Kazakhstan to ensure the holistic SDG financing strategy benefits children, in particularly the most vulnerable. According to Arthur van Diesen, UNICEF Representative in Kazakhstan, “Ensuring adequate and equitable financing for the achievement of the SDGs is of critical importance for children, particularly now. Children are feeling the impact of COVID-19 in multiple ways, at a time when financial resources of all relevant stakeholders are stretched. This is a time when we need to protect expenditure on the child-focused SDGs and improve the effectiveness and equity of that spending. In this way, we will mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on children, compensate for the deepening inequality it is causing and ensure the country is on track to achieve the SDGs.”
ESCAP presented planned project activities linked to SDG costing and strengthening Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SME) financial inclusion in Kazakhstan within the framework of INFF. As Hamza Ali Malik, Director of ESCAP’s Macroeconomic Policy and Financing for Development Division noted: “Kazakhstan is among one of the few countries globally to explore and adapt the INFF to its national context to implement a sound financing strategy for an effective and sustained response to the crisis induced by the COVID-19 pandemic and to put the country firmly on the path towards the Sustainable Development Goals. ESCAP looks forward to supporting Kazakhstan in its efforts and share lessons learned across Asia and Pacific.”
The event provided a platform for discussion on national priorities and financial resources required for COVID-19 recovery as the participants shared their expert opinions on the assessment of the current financial system efficiency, existing gaps, and recommendations on what steps and measures to take.
For more information, please contact the UNDP Communications Office in Kazakhstan by e-mail: [email protected] or tel: +7 705 700 9793.