Overview of Multilateral Investments in the Water Sector

12 Jan 2023 by The Water Diplomat

The month of December 2022 was punctuated by several announcements of investments or loans by multilateral development banks, in the water sector, in different parts of the world.

18 million loan to the Dambovita Region Water Company in Romania as part of a €325 million European Union Large Scale Infrastructure Operational Project to expand, rehabilitate and upgrade its water and sanitation infrastructure. This investment will benefit nearly half a million people and will result in a significant improvement in water connection and wastewater treatment. In the Americas, two important announcements were made: the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) approved a $500 million line of credit to the Bolivian government to finance mechanised irrigation systems for approximately 12,500 families in communities that depend on agriculture for their livelihoods, adding 13,871 hectares to the area irrigated by the new systems; and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has approved a US$80 million loan to enhance the efficiency, quality, sustainability and resilience of the drinking water supply and water security in Trinidad and Tobago. The programme will directly benefit approximately 1,025,000 residents as well as approximately 16,841 commercial, agricultural and industrial customers. On the African continent, a consortium consisting of the African Development Bank, the German Investment Agency (AFC) and EAIF has just completed a €174.3 million financing deal for the construction of the Singrobo hydropower plant in Côte d'Ivoire. The project, which is part of the African Development Bank's New Deal on Energy for Africa, will increase the population's access to energy and the share of renewable energy in Côte d'Ivoire's energy mix. Finally, in Asia, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved $20 million in financing to improve access to safe drinking water, irrigation services and climate resilience in Thimphu, Zhemgang and Wangdue Phodrang districts in Bhutan. The Flagship Water Support Project will construct integrated drinking water supply and gravity-fed irrigation systems in the Hetshosamchu area of Wangdue Phodrang district and in Zhemgang town and surrounding villages. This will include the rehabilitation of irrigation networks and drinking water treatment facilities. A new drinking water supply system, including a new water treatment plant, will be set up to provide a safe and continuous water supply to over 1,300 households in the Thimphu-Pamtsho area.

Another financial transaction that should be mentioned, on a completely different topic but closely related to the water sector, the Central American Bank for Economic Integration successfully launched its inaugural dual-tranche blue bond issue to finance eligible projects under its recently published green and blue bond framework. This represents over US$2 billion in ESG bonds, or about 32% of the total outstanding issuance, to finance water resource protection, sustainable water management, renewable energy, the blue economy and nature conservation. Finally, it was interesting to recall the publication of the latest annual report 2022 of the International Cooperation in Water in Africa (CIWA), a programme of the World Bank Group, which, as its name indicates, takes stock of the evolution during the year of the various water cooperations and projects on the African continent. The latter is available in English and French and can be consulted by following the link: https://www.ciwaprogram.org/resources/