Asia’s Fiscal Challenge – Financing the Social Protection Agenda of the Sustainable Development Goals

In the last few years, many developing member countries (DMCs) of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) have expanded their social protection programs, helping to improve the well-being of the poor and vulnerable in Asia, and to lower the numbers of those living in extreme poverty and of the socially excluded. From 2009 to 2015, Asian countries increased their social protection expenditure from 3.4% to 4.2% of gross domestic product.

Yet despite these gains, many DMCs still face considerable challenges, particularly in creating the sustainable financing needed for their social welfare programs. Such financing is the bedrock for the success of the social protection agendas of both the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and of ADB’s Strategy 2030.