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During the second edition of the Finance in Common Summit (FiCS) last October in Rome, Italy, the members of the Coalition for Sustainable Development through Sport (hereinafter the “Coalition”) - launched at the first edition of the FiCS - reinforced their commitment to use sport as a powerful lever for greater social and economic progress.

The thematic session Scaling-up Public Development Banks’ Sport for Sustainable Development Programs sponsored by AFD (Agence Française de Développement) and ICS (Istituto per il Credito Sportivo), presented the progress and new perspectives for the Coalition.

It addressed the role and impact of Public Development Banks (PDBs) for socio-ecnomic development through grassroots sport. The Coalition's vision is that sport, physical activity and physical education are powerful levers for sustainable development and the transformation of society by, for, and with young people and marginalized groups.

The session highlighted that major international sport events can catalyze social and economic progress development. For example, the Youth Olympic Games in Dakar 2026, the first Olympic event organised in Africa, in cooperation with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will ensure that these Games deliver opportunities for youth, with the support of the Coalition and its partners.

In the area of Para sport, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) noted that each Paralympic Games edition changes the perceptions towards people with disabilities (representing the 1.2 billion people worldwide), both in the host countries of the Games and globally. The session called for PDBs financial and technical support for the first Para African Games to be held in Ghana in 2023.

With regard to local impacts, the session discussed good practices, the need of participatory approaches and the importance of combining sustainable infrastructure projects with capacity building and local sport for development initiatives.

Finally, a pre-feasibility study on sustainable sports infrastructures is being launched, with the objective to have a pipeline of infrastructure projects for co-financing from members of the Coalition, along with a work program on social outcome contracting, both to be implemented in 2022.
To share its work with a broad audience, the Coalition also created its website, and it will soon set up an intranet platform to foster knowledge sharing and collaboration amongst members and partners.

Takeshi Matsuyama, Senior Director Operations Strategy Department at the Japan International Cooperation Agency - JICA (co-lead of the Coalition): “In just a year, the Coalition for Sustainable Development through sport has become a key player in the Sport for Development sector. Sport will become a core tool for sustainable development in the coming years; don’t miss out the opportunity to become a forerunner in this field by joining the Coalition!”  

Gabriela Ramos, Assistant Director-General for the Social and Human Sciences at UNESCO: “The tremendous power of sport makes it an invaluable lever for development. I am looking forward to seeing sport mainstreamed in Development Banks’ portfolio through the Coalition for Sustainable Development through Sport."

Axel Klaphake, Director Economic and Social Development Digitalisation at GIZ: “Joint action is needed to build sustainable, equitable and inclusive communities. ‘Sport for Development’ is a valuable tool for that goal. Therefore, we as GIZ reiterate our commitment a strong partner in the Coalition Sustainable Development through Sport”.

Andrea Abodi, President of ICS and chairman of the session: “Sport is a fundamental lever for those objectives concerning the planet’s priorities, namely the United Nations 2030 Agenda. The Coalition intercepts at least eight out of them and actively contributes to pursuing them. In fact, it is important to understand the transversal, intergenerational, economic, financial and social lever of Sport not to quantitatively increase its investments but to orient them qualitatively to leave after the great events those fundamental material and intangible inheritances of organized human capital and social inclusion”.

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