January 2014 Water Finance Update

World Bank AFDB21 January 2014: The World Bank, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) made a number of investments in the water and sanitation sector in January 2014, including in Albania, Bangladesh, Ghana, India, Madagascar, the Russian Federation, Togo and Viet Nam, for projects aimed at improving basic urban services, providing rural access to water supply and sanitation, expanding hydromet systems to monitor hydrological information, and improve the climate resilience of irrigated agriculture and water supply and sanitation services, among others.

The World Bank issued a number of loans through the International Development Association (IDA), designed to provide funding for the poorest countries in the world. Bangladesh received US$410 million for improved municipal governance and basic urban services, including water and sanitation systems, in particular building a culture of responsible operations and maintenance of infrastructure. Viet Nam was provided with US$180 million to introduce climate-smart agriculture, aimed at increasing resilience while mitigating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

A US$500 million credit has been approved for the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation (RWSS) project in India, which focuses on improving piped water supply and sanitation services through the development of decentralized systems in four low-income states. The project incorporates participatory planning, linking community management and integration of water supply and sanitation interventions.

The World Bank also announced financing for projects in the Russian Federation and Albania. Russia received US$60 million in co-financing through the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) to improve the national capacity to provide weather, climate and hydrological information by strengthening information communication technology (ICT) infrastructure, modernizing observation networks, and improving seasonal river flow forecasts in the Volga River basin. Albania received US$85.3 million for the Water Sector Investment Project to improve water quality and wastewater services in the area around Durres and increase the financial performance of the water utility.

In addition, the World Bank highlighted results from an investment through the National Solidary Program (NSP) in Afghanistan, focusing on the benefits of a micro-hydropower plant in the Banda Miralamji village in Nangarhar Province, one of 3200 projects financed under the NSP in the Province. The NSP utilizes a participatory governance model, helping villages establish Community Development Councils to define development priorities.

The GEF circulated two projects in Rwanda and Madagascar for review by the GEF Council in January 2014, both funded through the Least Developed Country Fund (LDCF), established under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to channel funds to Least Developed Countries (LDCs), in part for the development and implementation of National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPAs).

Rwanda would receive US$9.66 million to adapt to climate change through livelihood diversification, focusing on the vulnerable in rural areas dependent on agriculture-based income in the face of variable rainfall and increasing intensity of floods. The project emphasizes a community-based approach that devolves project ownership, engages local communities and builds capacity to continue increasing resilience.

US$5.87 million would be provided for a project enhancing the adaptive capacity and resilience of rural communities to climate extremes in Mozambique, addressing in particular impacts to rural water supply and sanitation infrastructure, and agriculture. The project would include the installation of hydromet equipment to improve forecasting.

AfDB investment in the water and sanitation sector focused in January 2014 on project preparation and ensuring projects are investment ready. Two loans, one for a joint project between Ghana and Togo, and one in Malawi, both fund feasibility studies and explore the development of public-private partnerships (PPPs). The AfDB is investing EUR 1.4 million in the study of a project that would transfer potable water from the Volta River in Ghana to the city of Lomé, Togo. Malawi is receiving EUR 1.8 million to assess the feasibility of a project to expand irrigated agriculture in the Lower Shire Valley.

The 'Water Finance Update,' a new feature of Water Policy & Practice, will provide a monthly overview of investments by international financial institutions (IFIs) in the water and sanitation sectors. [World Bank Press Release: Bangladesh] [World Bank Press Release: Russia] [World Bank Press Release: Albania] [World Bank Press Release: Viet Nam 1] [World Bank Press Release: Viet Nam 2] [World Bank Press Release: India] [World Bank Press Release: Afghanistan] [AfDB Press Release: Ghana and Togo] [AfDB Press Release: Malawi] [GEF Press Release: Rwanda] [GEF Press Release: Madagascar]