The 2021 issue of ESCAP’s Financing for Development Series, Financing the SDGs to build back better from the COVID-19 pandemic in Asia and the Pacific, reviews a range of financing instruments, strategies and mechanisms that can help Asia-Pacific economies recover from the pandemic and effectively pursue the SDGs.

Economies in the Asia-Pacific region need to urgently reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including to maintain their trade competitiveness as carbon taxes at borders threaten to rise, according to this new United Nations report   

This report examines the region’s economic prospects in 2021, forecasting that the recovery will be both tenuous and uneven as per capita GDP level stays below pre-pandemic levels. COVID-19 was a stress-test for the region’s public health systems, which were already overwhelmed even before the pandemic.

In 2021, Sub-Saharan Africa emerged from the recession, but its recovery is still timid and fragile. The region is projected to grow at a rate of 3.3 percent—a weaker pace of recovery than that of advanced and emerging market economies.

This report is the second output of the joint NGFS-INSPIRE Study Group on Biodiversity and Financial Stability. The group was established to help central banks and financial supervisors fulfil their mandates in the face of financial risks stemming from biodiversity loss.

Developing countries have experienced growing structural weaknesses over the last decade. COVID-19 and climate change have further aggravated these, worsening poverty and inequality, and starkly exposing the interdependence between people, the planet, and the economy.

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the process of digital transformation and added urgency for Governments to respond. A key challenge is how to govern and harness the surge in digital data for the global good. It has been estimated that global Internet traffic in 2022 will exceed all the Internet traffic up to 2016.

The transformation of food systems is a burning topic across the globe, in response to concerns about the nutritional, environmental and equity impacts of our current system.

The world’s poorest countries will remain on the margins of the global economy if States are unable to boost economic production, and the international community fails to provide more support, the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) warned.

Despite the economic devastation wrought by COVID-19, the new technology sector continued to thrive and prosper last year, the UN’s intellectual property agency said in a new report.

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