The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) has launched an initiative to help Arab states fund sustainable development and climate action. The Climate/SDG Debt Swap Mechanism gives debtors, creditors and donors the opportunity to achieve climate-sensitive national development goals, in line with global development goals.
The initiative was launched at a virtual expert consultation meeting on December 15, 2019. The launch follows three years of publications and expert group meetings that identified debt sustainability challenges faced by Arab states.
The Climate/SDG Debt Swap Mechanism will foster partnerships between Arab states and their creditors to use debt service payments to finance climate change and sustainable development initiatives, “especially in countries where continuous borrowing has become a less viable option”.
In her opening remarks at the expert consultation meeting, ESCWA Executive Secretary Rola Dashti said the Commission will host the mechanism and “harness all technical capacity and engagement with member states to support debt conversions from inception to implementation”. [ESCWA Press Release]