Africa: Massive Funding Gap to Reach SDGs
Africa is facing a massive funding gap to reach the SDGs by 2030 according to a report by the SDG Centre for Africa (SDGC/A).
The report, titled “Africa 2030: Sustainable Development Goals Three-Year Reality Check”, shows that African countries will need to raise over $500 billion in additional funding every year to achieve their Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.
The centre estimates that a large financing gap, between $500 billion to $1.2 trillion every year, is derailing SDGs implementation in Africa.
The authors of the report said that heavy investments are still needed in key sectors of health, and education, as well as the management of water used in agriculture to ensure food security if the continent is to achieve the SDGs.
As director general of the SDGC/A Belay Begashaw said:
… unlike other regions of the world, Africa’s starting point is very low compared to what needs to be achieved by 2030.”
Alcohol an obstacle to reaching SDGs
Alcohol has been found to be a major obstacle to achieving the SDGs. Alcohol adversely affects 13 of the 17 SDGs. This is specially true of the African region where alcohol consumption is rising in many countries and placing a heavy burden on people, families, communities, economies and overall society.
Alcohol harm is pervasive in the African region, for example affecting young Africans disproportionately and fueling the double burden of the NCDs and the HIV/ AIDS epidemics, hindering poverty eradication and derailing efforts to achieve gender equality.
There is also evidence of Big Alcohol exploiting the region – fueling corruption, weakening institutions, undermining democracy and transfering wealth from the many to a very few shareholders and business executives.
Powerful solution to the funding gap is available
The Task Force on Fiscal Policy for health recommends tax increases to curb the harm of NCDs. They suggest through research to increase taxes high enough to bring up the price by 50% on alcohol and tobacco as well as sugary drinks.
The Task Force on Fiscal Policy for Health brings together esteemed fiscal policy, development and health leaders from around the world to address the growing health and economic burden of NCDs – including cardiovascular disease, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes and their major risk factors – with fiscal policy tools that are currently underutilized by governments.
The task force is co-chaired by Mike Bloomberg and economist Larry Summers, former Secretary of the U.S. Treasury and former Director of the National Economic Council.
The Task Force on Fiscal Policy for Health released the “Health Taxes to Save Lives” report, calling on all countries to significantly raise their excise taxes on tobacco, alcohol and sugary beverages. An analysis conducted for the Task Force estimated that over 50 million premature deaths could be prevented if countries implemented excise tax increases large enough to raise product prices of tobacco, alcohol and sugary beverages by 50% over the next 50 years.
The analysis further found the impact of these taxes, projected to yield over US$20 trillion in revenue, would be highest in low- and middle-income countries, where consumption and associated healthcare costs and productivity losses are growing.
The estimated increase in life years reflect the tremendous potential of increased taxes to save lives from non-communicable diseases, many of which can be linked back to some combination of tobacco and alcohol use and consumption of sugary beverages,” said Amit Summan, CDDEP Research Associate who worked on the study, as per Medical Xpress.