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SDG 8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth

How everyone benefits from balanced growth

Several hundred million people around the world are unemployed; others have work, but do not earn enough to make a living. Only a flourishing economy creates jobs, but the aim is not to promote work at all costs. Economic growth on its own is not sufficient to pave the way to a sustainable increase in prosperity for all. In addition to material prosperity, social harmony, an autonomous life, and a clean and intact environment are also essential elements of development that can be jeopardised when the pursuit of profit is the sole objective. Rather, it is about qualitative growth that seeks sustainable progress in economic, social as well as environmental terms. An important basis for development is the creation of employment and income, because fairly paid and socially secure jobs offer a way out of the poverty trap. However, many employment relationships are still subject to exploitative conditions, forced and child labour as well as dangerous workplaces are widespread, and people can hardly live on their income.

KfW Development Bank therefore promotes economic growth that enables decent work. It invests, for example, in funds that give companies access to loans. Prospering companies create employment and generate income. KfW also promotes the construction of infrastructure, which directly and indirectly secures jobs. In addition, it supports the expansion of vocational training systems that make it possible for employees to receive qualifications orientated toward market demands. Furthermore, KfW promotes innovation in partner countries and is financing a broad spectrum of technologies, as demand on the global market is primarily for high-quality products. KfW is supporting its partner countries as they expand value chains and improve products, thus creating more productive jobs with higher incomes.

A functioning financial system is the basis of every economy. To give companies and people in partner countries access to financial services like loans, bank accounts and insurance, KfW is supporting local financial institutions – which also contributes to a prosperous economy and thus stable employment.

In its partner countries, KfW Development Bank promotes employment through qualitative economic growth that equally bears economic, social and ecological aspects in mind.

Its involvement is making an impact: The commitments made in 2021 will create and secure around 2.4 million permanent jobs through FC projects. Indirectly, i.e. in the upstream value chain and in the downstream employment opportunities created by the projects, it is estimated that 68% of KfW's projects will contribute to job creation. In addition, commitments of almost EUR 1.5 billion were made explicitly for sustainable economic development in 2021. In addition to direct employment effects via SME financing amounting to 87,000 jobs created and secured, these projects have significant positive effects on investment, innovation and economic growth, and thus on the creation of decent jobs overall.

With the 2021 commitments for new or qualitatively improved vocational training measures, KfW is creating training places for almost 37,000 people, around 47% of whom are women - an essential prerequisite for taking on skilled and decent work.

“Work – the best means of combating poverty”

Interview with Prof. Dr Jochen Kluve, economist and head of the evaluation department at KfW Development Bank, about the value of work and how to create more jobs.

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We promote sustainable economic growth and employment

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KfW's contribution to SDG 8

  • storeowner

    Private sector development

    Seeking entrepreneurs in a refugee camp

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  • Two colleagues tinkering at wo

    Demand-based training

    Training and sustainable growth for good jobs

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  • Coffee farmer

    Produce sustainably

    Support for Ecuadorian entrepreneurs in the agricultural sector

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  • Publications

    Development Research

    Harnessing the potential of an integrated approach to employment promotion

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A job despite learning disabilities

Supporting Jordan’s most vulnerable communities through immediate decent work creation

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Flourishing business thanks to a refrigerator

How microloans in Senegal create new work and give people new hope.

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