Published 2018
Cross-border financing flows impacting the Sustainable Development Goals
By Homi Kharas

Homi Kharas is Interim Vice President and Director at the Brookings Institution, which is a non-profit public policy organisation that brings together more than 300 leading experts in government and academia from all over the world. Homi Kharas studies policies and trends influencing developing countries, including aid to poor countries, the emergence of the middle class, global governance and the G20.

This paper discusses trends in cross-border financing of investments that impact the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). We presage this discussion with one stark observation: choices on the level and quality of physical and human capital investment in the next decade will shape development trajectories for years to come. Once in place, these investments cannot be easily undone. The window for putting in place sustainable infrastructure is rapidly closing. More infrastructure will be built over the next 15 years than the entire stock of today’s infrastructure. If it is not low carbon, a climate-friendly development pathway is not feasible. Also, more people are moving to cities than ever before. If transport, land-use and public service delivery are not made more accessible, inequality cannot be addressed. Last, there is a demographic bulge in Africa. If these children are not kept healthy and skilled, they will be left behind.