With its experience in the finance sector, the BBVA Microfinance Foundation (BBVAMF) has contributed to the report entitled “Business and SDG 16: contributing to peaceful, just and inclusive societies,” by the Sustainable Development Goals Fund and the University of Pennsylvania.
The study presents the practices of the members of the SDG Fund’s Private Sector Advisory Group in achieving the Sustainable Development Goal number 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions). The report stresses that companies’ actions should not be limited to preventing corruption and promoting transparency. Actions such as inclusion in employment and the defense of human rights should be part of their planning as well.
During the report’s presentation in Madrid, three cases were shared with the audience, including the work of BBVAMF, to underline the importance of the private sector’s involvement in the promotion of peace and justice.
BBVAMF works directly on SDG 16 in Colombia, a country that has endured a five decade-long armed conflict. “We already are in most of the municipalities which have been named priorities by the Colombian government for building peace”, says Tula Ducasse, Head of Institutional Relations of the Foundation. In 2018, BBVAMF expects to provide support with financial services and training to thousands of vulnerable entrepreneurs that have been affected by the conflict.
Ducasse outlines that there cannot be sustainable development without peace, nor peace without sustainable development. “BBVAMF has been promoting sustainable development for the past decade. Over this period of time it has lent over $10 billion in small productive loans to vulnerable entrepreneurs in Latin America. Last year, the profits of these vulnerable entrepreneurs grew 18% on average,” says Ducasse.
The SDG Fund calls for more innovation, so that peace will enable the achievement of other important goals such as gender equality and economic growth. This is why the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is embedded into the work of the BBVA Microfinance Foundation as a necessary way to change the world without leaving anyone behind.