• Laura Frigenti, Leadership |

The developing world continues to endure profound and complex challenges in providing public services that are essential to a sustainable environment and the promise of health, growth and prosperity for all. To drive progress that can help improve social, economic and environmental conditions, the need to strengthen governments, businesses and development sector organizations with much-needed resources has become critical.

I am proud to note that KPMG, through our International Development Assistance Services (IDAS) practice, continues to work closely with the world’s governments, multilateral development banks (MDBs) and an array of international organizations to foster social and economic development in nations with emerging economies.

The United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are providing an essential framework and objective that development sector stakeholders are ambitiously united behind to create a sustainable and thriving world for all. KPMG’s agenda for a sustainable and responsible global future includes our commitment to enabling and supporting current and future government initiatives amid the world’s journey toward achieving the UN SDGs.

Our mission extends across a network of KPMG firms operating in 144 countries and territories, with more than 236,000 partners and employees working in member firms around the world. While our work delivering on-the-ground experience, global knowledge and dedicated teams continues, there are significant roadblocks to progress in meeting the UN goals by the 2030 target.

While today’s developed economies typically possess the resources needed to create a new future that we all envision, emerging and less-developed nations are struggling with serious resource challenges in their efforts to address urgent social, environmental and economic needs.

Navigating the roadblocks to progress

As organizations navigate roadblocks to progress, the global COVID-19 health crisis has highlighted not only the need for governments, institutions and industries to work together to improve the development landscape, but also the pressing need to finance initiatives that can help change lives and put communities on new paths to success.

Financial assistance to achieve the UN Agenda 2030 in lower- and middle-income countries is often provided by MDBs, which continue to play a key role in today’s volatile and fast-changing global environment. KPMG is working more closely than ever with MDBs in their work as financiers of both SDG and environmental, social and governance (ESG) initiatives in less-developed economies.

Our multi-disciplinary professionals are offering a range of expertise that is making a difference as MDBs are supporting governments in their efforts to reduce the infrastructure gaps impeding the economic and social development of so many nations. And our work continues to gain urgency as the world’s attention increasingly turns to social inequity, human capital development, healthcare and education needs, climate emergencies, and recovery from the global pandemic’s devastating repercussions.

While much more needs to be done, our success stories to date in helping clients deliver important projects across Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Latin America and the Caribbean are diverse and compelling in their impact.

Fostering positive change around the world

With the global pandemic’s unprecedented disruption of public health and global economies, governments everywhere launched major financial-aid programs. Among initiatives targeting the rapid delivery of emergency services, KPMG in the Ivory Coast helped the Ivory Coast government and Central Bank of West African States successfully deliver financial assistance to the Ivory Coast’s most vulnerable and hard-hit citizens and businesses.

Loans and financial grants have proven instrumental in preserving key sectors of the Ivory Coast’s national economy and workforce, particularly in cotton, rubber, oil palm, coffee, food and fruit production. Aid to individuals and homes has included the postponement or cancellation of electricity and water bill payments.

Beyond significant international projects related to the global pandemic, KPMG in Kazakhstan worked with the Kazakhstan government to implement major healthcare reforms under its Compulsory Social and Medical Insurance program — the country’s largest health-sector initiative since declaring independence from the former Soviet Union. Funded by the World Bank, the ground-breaking program is designed to lower the cost of care, raise quality and outcomes, and expand nationwide access to medical insurance.

KPMG in Kazakhstan collaborated with the government in Kazakhstan to manage the smooth rollout of their Universal Healthcare (UHC) program. With support from its global healthcare professionals, KPMG provided revenue forecasting, data analysis, budget planning, the design of automated purchase-to-payment systems, and the implementation of World Health Organization pharmaceutical standards.

As of July 2021, nearly 16 million citizens — more than 80 percent of Kazakhstan’s population — were participating in the health insurance program1. And ongoing initiatives are paving the way for a more transparent and accessible healthcare system by 20302.

New prospects for growth in India’s agriculture sector

KPMG in India has been engaged to help build capacity, expand market opportunities and enhance revenue for the vast farming sector of Maharashtra, where agriculture employs nearly half of that state’s population of 124 million. Maharashtra’s ambitious agribusiness network project, known as MAGNET, is a US$134-million initiative funded by the Asian Development Bank.

This initiative’s mission is to enhance Maharashtra’s production and management of perishable crops — ultimately helping the state’s emerging Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) to become self-sustainable and profitable.

The farming sector has traditionally faced significant challenges managing valuable but highly perishable crops such as fruits, vegetables and flowers. Almost 40 percent are typically lost or wasted during production and delivery. The goal is to limit such losses and increase income for farmers through new post-harvest practices, modernized facilities and much-needed access to new markets3.

These are just a few examples of projects that we are dedicated to seeing succeed through our close collaboration with MDBs, governments and development organizations. Along the way, we cannot underestimate the importance of leadership by government to help drive change through the efficient and transparent use of resources and the effective prioritization and execution of progressive development programs.

Leaders that fully understand the role of government in driving progress through economic and social programs in collaboration with MDBs, and include the creation of modern, automated, citizen-centric services in the digital economy can help unlock new growth and success prospects for their societies.

The journey to a new future as defined by the UN SDGs continues for today’s complex, fragile and developing nations. And we believe there is no time to waste in accelerating change as the clock ticks down to the 2030 target and the promise of new opportunities for the social, economic and environmental well-being of every nation.

Throughout this page, “we”, “KPMG”, “us” and “our” refers to the global organization or to one or more of the member firms of KPMG International Limited (“KPMG International”), each of which is a separate legal entity.

Footnotes:

1 https://p4h.world/en/news/kazakhstan-assessed-status-mandatory-social-health-insurance-reform
2 https://home.kpmg/xx/en/home/industries/government-public-sector/international-development-services/strategy-and-policy-implementation/health-sector-reform-in-kazakhstan-enabling-universal-healthcare.html
3 https://www.adb.org/news/videos/improving-productivity-and-lives-farmers-india-s-maharashtra-state

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