UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) said these illegal funds hinder the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) achievements, for which it designed a conceptual framework to help governments better measure them and provide more effective policies. In this regard, UNCTAD´s Director Steve MacFeely said that ‘the Covid-19 pandemic has made it even more urgent to track down illicit financial flows. Without resources, countries will not be able to achieve the SDGs and progress may even be reversed.’
IFFIs are illegal money movements from one country to another through organized crime and the trade in illegitimate goods, illicit tax and commercial practices, such as improper billing, transfer of profits and financial transfer to offshore destinations.
A recent UNCTAD report on economic development in Africa said that about US$88.6 billion are going out of the continent as improper capital flight, enough to finance nearly half of the US$200 billion annual financing gap to reach the SDGs.
To help, UNCTAD and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime set up an international statistical working group to develop definitions and methodologies, and designed the first conceptual framework for IFF´s statistical measurement.