The Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) is pleased to announce that it has entered into a Strategic Partnership with the Global Water Security & Sanitation Partnership (GWSP), a multi-donor trust fund housed within the World Bank’s Water Global Practice (WGP). PIDG Technical Assistance (TA) will provide a grant to support two major water sector activities that will be implemented in the next 24 months. PIDG’s involvement will provide additional funding for the scale-up needed to make substantive progress on closing the infrastructure financing gap in water and sanitation, by facilitating private investment into this important sector through knowledge delivery, capacity building and targeted technical assistance.
To date, close to 640 million people still lack access to safe drinking water, and 2.4 billion to sanitation. It is estimated that approximately USD 1.7 trillion in additional investment in water and sanitation alone would be needed through 2030 to meet SDG 6 targets. In particular, the outbreak of COVID-19 has reinforced the importance of access to safe and reliable water in disease prevention. PIDG and GWSP recognise that much more needs to be done to assist public water utilities and water resources management organisations in tapping into commercial finance, and to support private sector participation in water service delivery in emerging and developing countries across Asia and Africa.
The first element of the Partnership involves supporting GWSP training courses for public utilities which focus on both service delivery and financial management improvements. The goal of this training is to make service providers more commercially viable and suitable candidates for borrowing or and becoming more creditworthy. PIDG support for these training courses will facilitate the development of e-learning versions, to enable a much broader reach into the industry, especially under the current COVID-19 restrictions.
The second element of the Partnership focuses on supporting the Financial Innovation team (FIT) launched by GWSP in 2018. The FIT provides transaction support which addresses the foundational issues of financial and technical efficiency of governance and regulatory systems, while facilitating commercial finance through leveraging and blending opportunities. PIDG TA funding will support the FIT in carrying out analytical and advisory work in selected PIDG mandated countries by identifying and addressing knowledge gaps, advising and reforming the policy environment, and structuring potential transactions for water service providers to enhance their success in tapping into private sector participation and commercial finance.
Emilio Cattaneo, Head of Technical Assistance at PIDG said: “We are proud to be supporting a key World Bank initiative in the water sector and are excited to embark in this new Strategic Partnership. Water is one of PIDG’s priority sectors of focus, and from our past experiences in water projects, we recognise that capacity building upstream at government, municipal and utility level is essential to create viable opportunities for private sector investment. We believe there is strong alignment between PIDG’s mandate of developing infrastructure assets in frontier markets, and the World Bank Global Practice’s focus on ensuring the public sector in target countries has access to the required level of know-how and expertise.”
Joel Kolker, GWSP’s Program Manager said: “We are pleased to be cooperating with PIDG on this important course. Water financing is arguably one of the largest challenges facing the sector and the partnership between PIDG and the Water GP aims to provide utilities with the know-how needed to serve consumers while remaining financially viable in the long term. The course also underscores GWSP’s core motivation of leveraging partnerships and knowledge to turn challenges facing the water sector into opportunities and solutions. With deep-diving modules on numerous aspects of water finance, we are confident that stakeholders will complete the course with a clear understanding of how to better face whatever water finance challenges may ensue.”
The Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) is an innovative infrastructure project developer and investor which mobilises private investment in sustainable and inclusive infrastructure in sub-Saharan Africa and south and south-east Asia. PIDG investments promote socio-economic development within a just transition to net zero emissions, combat poverty and contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). PIDG delivers its ambition in line with its values of opportunity, accountability, safety, integrity and impact.
Since 2002, PIDG has supported 171 infrastructure projects to financial close which provided an estimated 217 million people with access to new or improved infrastructure. PIDG is funded by the governments of the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Australia, Sweden, Germany and the IFC. www.pidg.org