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Reflections on Finance for water, sanitation and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals

ping_mu_kuai_zhao_2013-10-16_xia_wu_4.20.05 cc World Bank

During the Stockholm Water Week taking place this week there were many sessions on finance for water, sanitation and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. Most of the sessions talked about climate bonds, impact bonds and other sophisticated financing mechanisms which are great for utilities in San Francisco for instance, but are far from being useful to governments and utilities in many small towns in Sub-Saharan African countries. These are the utilities in need of finance for providing basic services to an increasing number of people which are facing not only constrains in terms of being credit worthy, but are also within countries which have not even been able to issue normal financial bonds or have a financial plan to achieve the SDGs. See this blog on Financing universal access and the role of water financing facilities 

Within these well-intentioned but far from the realities on the ground sessions, it was with some relief that the World Bank launched the report “Achieving Universal Access to Water Sanitation by 2030 – the Role of Blended Finance” with a sobering look into the challenges of raising domestic and foreign finance. It’s a good read and goes straight to the point.

My wish is for the coming year is for the financial work in the sector to be more accurate and critical about what is possible and what is not for particular countries.

 

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