Expanding access to clean water and basic sanitation services is fundamental to reducing poverty. Under-investment in water infrastructure can have very serious health and social implications, and impede economic development.
Improving access to clean water is a complex challenge and IFC is committed to expanding access to clean water and improved sanitation in developing countries where contaminated water and inadequate sanitation cause roughly 675,000 premature deaths per year, mainly among children.
Water supply and sanitation services, including wastewater treatment, are fundamentally linked to quality of life and development prospects in developing countries, where some 663 million people lack access to clean water and 2.5 billion live without modern sanitation.
Our goal is to ensure reliable services for those who need them—particularly the poor—in a sustainable and affordable way.
While most of the World Bank Group’s activities in the water sector involve supporting publicly run utilities—through grants, loans, and technical assistance—there are situations where carefully-managed public-private partnerships or private tenders can get clean water to more people more quickly and efficiently than state operators can manage on their own.
One of the ways IFC is responding to these challenges is by enabling partnerships between governments and private operators to bring the needed capital, expertise, and technology to improve water access and services. Working alongside government, civil society, and other stakeholders, the private sector can provide complementary knowledge, experience, insights to address critical issues of water resource management.
Properly structured PPPs can play an important role in addressing the global water issues of today, and IFC’s track record in structuring PPPs is strong. Long-term evaluations of our projects prove that concessions can have a positive impact on levels of access and quality of services for the population.
BENIN: PIPED WATER SUPPLY
The Government of Benin improved water supply and distribution services in rural and small towns by partnering with the private sector in design, partial financing, rehabilitation, extension and operation of ten water supply systems.
PHILIPPINES: CLARK WATER
To strengthen regulations around water and wastewater services in Philippines, IFC supported negotiations with the incumbent provider, amending the regulatory regime, introducing industry best practices, and mobilizing critical investments.
RWANDA: KIGALI BULK WATER
To maintain people’s access to water as Kigali’s population swells, the Government of Rwanda partnered with the private sector to diversify and improve water supply for the nation’s fast growing capital through a PPP.
TAPPING THE MARKETS
A World Bank Group study that provides an insight into the opportunities for domestic investments in water and sanitation for the poor, and how to service the demand and scale up access through the domestic private sector.