Sustainable Development Goals

As a unique global partnership between Least Developed Countries, donors and international agencies, the EIF inscribes itself the spirit of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

International Trade is a key means in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, cutting across almost all goals, with key links to areas such as employment generation, women's empowerment, food security and alleviation of inequality, both within and among nations. Trade is directly related to 11 targets under 9 of the SDGs, and is indirectly related to an additional 32 targets under 14 of the SDGs.

The LDCs are specifically highlighted throughout the SDGs, and the EIF specifically mentioned in Target 8.A. of the SDGs, aiming to "increase Aid for Trade support for developing countries, in particular least developed countries, including through the Enhanced Integrated Framework for Trade-related Technical Assistance to Least developed countries".

Under Goal 17, Target 17.11 mirrors the Istanbul Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries for the Decade 2011-2020 in looking to “Significantly increase the exports of developing countries, in particular with a view to doubling the least developed countries’ share of global exports by 2020.

The EIF works to promote a trade agenda conducive to sustainable pro-poor growth and promotes an effective and coherent national policy and institutional framework, critical to underpin LDCs' progress towards the SDGs achievement. The EIF also targets a wide array of SDGs with a strong focus on SDG 5 on Gender Equality, as well as on building productive capacity, with linkages to goals around industrialization, value chains, inclusive and sustainable growth, combating climate change as well as technology and trade.

In the SDGs, leaders identified trade as an engine for growth and combating poverty. The EIF’s work to support the LDCs in unlocking the power of trade in line with their own development strategies ensures that this vision rings true in the world’s poorest countries.

The LDCs are the frontline in the battle against world hunger. Natural disasters, conflicts and the impacts of climate change will increasingly mean that for the LDCs, effective trade is central to food security. The EIF’s work in assisting the LDCs to diversify their production and reduce trade costs will be an important contribution to this effort.

The EIF believes that in order to be inclusive and effective, trade-driven development needs to be gender-equitable. By empowering women entrepreneurs and supporting them in becoming export champions, the EIF strengthens communities and builds the foundations for equitable, inclusive and sustainable growth.

Research shows that businesses that export thrive, grow and expand at far higher rates. By assisting the LDCs to break into new export markets through targeted aid for trade support, the EIF is empowering the next generation of entrepreneurs and small- and medium-sized enterprises to create well-paying, fulfilling jobs and drive economic growth.

The EIF works with the LDC governments to achieve their priorities around diversification, industrialization and movement up global and regional value chains. The EIF helps the LDCs to identify key infrastructure and policy bottlenecks, prioritize among them and then leverage the finance to address them.

Sustainability is embedded into the core of every EIF project, and that includes environmental and social responsibility. Even as the EIF works to assist the LDCs to enter the export markets of tomorrow, the partnership also provides the expertise to ensure that export growth does not occur at the expense of our planet.

As an equal trilateral partnership between the LDCs, EIF Donors and EIF International Agencies, few organizations embody the spirit of SDG 17 more than the EIF. Everything that the EIF does, including the contribution it makes to doubling the share of LDCs exports by 2020, is premised on bringing all stakeholders to the table, coordinating their efforts and aligning their work toward a common goal.