How the Asia-Pacific Region Can Overcome the Poly-Crisis

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Climate adaptation Report says Transforming Energy, Food, and Finance Systems in Asia Pacific Can Boost Resilience and Accelerate Progress in the Face of the Multiple Crises

The multiple crises facing the world today – the war in Ukraine, impacts from extreme weather events, failing to curb GHG emissions, the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, and underlying structural weaknesses- send shockwaves to the Asia Pacific region.

Disruption in energy and food markets has sent food and commodity prices to soar, pushing millions to poverty and affecting the most vulnerable groups. The region is facing the worst cost of living in a generation.

The 2023 Asia-Pacific SDG Partnership Report ‘Delivering on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) through Solutions at the Energy, Food and Finance Nexus’ goes to the heart of this nexus and examines the role of energy, food and finance in amplifying shocks while also highlighting their role in providing synergistic solutions.

The report jointly issued by UNESCAP, Asian Development Bank and UNDP analyses how the cascading energy–food–finance crises have impacted economic, educational, employment and health outcomes, particularly for the most vulnerable. It also explores how innovations in food, energy and financial systems are vital to the solutions we urgently seek to renew development momentum and improve regional resilience.

The report is divided into three chapters, and below are the key findings for each chapter.

Chapter 1 – SDG Stocktaking in times of compounding crises: new shocks and stresses from energy, food and finance.

The poly-crisis has severely disrupted energy, food and finance systems, devastating the most vulnerable and plunging millions into poverty while setting back progress toward achieving the SDGs. The overlapping crisis exposes vulnerabilities in the interlinked systems of food, energy and finance; however, the situation can be a turning point toward a cleaner and more secure future, initiating renewed momentum to transform energy and food systems.

Chapter 2 – Energy, food and financing solutions for the SDGs

Innovation—including through new technologies, business models, policy frameworks, and social advances—in energy and food production offers sustainable and cost-effective solutions to meet energy and food needs and ensure more equitable distribution to the marginalized and most vulnerable groups.

The region is witnessing promising practices on smart and low-carbon farming and technological advances that are accessible to all and offer the opportunity to optimize the use of inputs, raise agricultural yields and reduce environmental impact. Emerging approaches to making energy and food systems more efficient and less wasteful and promoting sustainable consumption can further reduce environmental degradation and benefit farmers and consumers.

Replicating and scaling up existing innovations and solutions will promote more sustainable and inclusive energy and food systems.

Chapter 3 – Reclaiming the decade of action on the SDGs

The poly-crisis calls for multinational and multisectoral responses to address the stalling of progress on SDGs and build back better. Data-driven and adaptive institutions can enable countries in Asia-Pacific to better respond to crises and build resilience.

Applying agile governance and participatory scenario planning can enable national institutions to adapt to changing circumstances through responsive policies.

Financing robust, inclusive, and adaptive social protection systems is critical to address multi-dimensional risks and improving vulnerable groups’ energy and food security.

Encouraging private enterprises to use SDG impact frameworks and develop bankable projects for SDG-aligned financing will help channel more capital toward the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.


Delivering on the Sustainable Development Goals through Solutions at the Energy, Food and Finance Nexus. (2-23 April 6). UNDP. Retrieved from

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