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Report: Arab countries need $230bn for sustainable development

Arab countries require $230 billion annually to achieve the sustainable development goals, a report by the Lebanon-based Arab Forum for Environment and Development (AFED) revealed yesterday.

The report, titled “Financing Sustainable Development in Arab Countries”, said that the current funding gap was estimated at more than $100 billion a year, stressing that “corruption leads to the loss of the same amount every year.”

The losses in the economic activity due to the region’s wars and conflicts since 2011, AFED pointed out, amounts to around $900 billion, adding that precedent, along with the requirements of reconstruction, hinder the implementation of the sustainable development.

AFED also noted that transformation and diversification of traditional funding, combating corruption and concrete cooperation between the private and public sector were required for achieving sustainable development.

Former Lebanese prime minister, Fouad Siniora, who attended the forum, told the Anadolu Agency that fiscal reforms were needed “to open the way to a green economy in the Arab region”.

Siniora called for halting “destruction and for channelling the available resources and efforts towards a reform process.”

“The banking sector must adopt new and innovative methods to contribute to securing the financing required for sustainable development to stimulate private banks towards a green economy,” he explained.

AFED is a regional non-governmental and non-profit organisation, which brings together experts and academics with civil society organisations and businesses to promote advanced environmental policies and programs across the Arab world. Over 400 delegates from 40 countries representing governments, regional and international organisations, as well as 50 students from different Arab universities, participate in the conference.

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