Paying for the Spout: Innovative Financing Could Expand Access to Water. New Security Beat, March 2020.
Safe water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) are vital for human well-being. However, 1 in 3 people (approximately 2.2 billion) still lack safe drinking water, 4.2 billion do not have access to safely managed sanitation services, and 829,000 people die annually from unsafe water and related sanitation and hygiene around the world.
While Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG 6) aims to “ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all” by 2030, we won’t get there if nothing changes. The current level of WASH financing is too low to achieve universal access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation and hygiene.
To meet SDG 6, capital financing needs to triple to $114 billion annually, and operating and maintenance (O&M) costs also need to be considered. According to a joint World Health Organization and UN-Water report, the financing gap in 19 countries and one territory was greater than 60 percent, and less than 15 percent of the 115 countries and territories surveyed had the human or financial capital needed to implement WASH policies and plans.
Critical hurdles to overcome include revenues that do not cover operating costs; insufficient creditworthiness of water and sanitation utilities; poor financial data on WASH; and uncertainty in future funding given annual variability in foreign aid.
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Mobilizing Additional Funds for Pro-Poor Water Services: An Exploration of Potential Models to Finance Safe Water Access in Support of Sustainable Development Goal 6.1. Urban Institute; Johns Hopkins University, the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), 2018.
This report seeks to draw from the experiences of other sectors to answer the following question:
Where, outside of tariffs, can governments in developing countries and their development partners raise additional resources to sustainably finance safely managed water services in line with SDG ambitions?
After an extensive literature review and stakeholder interviews, we narrowed our focus to look at three models that seemed most promising for a sustainable subsidy approach:
- global philanthropy-led partnerships and funds
- solidarity levies (surtaxes)
- land value capture strategies
These three models have the potential to raise significant international and domestic resources, to fundamentally alter how donors and the private sector collaborate, and to yield reliable, automatic contributions without yearly renewals, allowing a longer planning and implementation horizon.
WASH & Finance – Water Currents, June 27, 2017.
This issue focuses on finance in the WASH sector and contains recent reports and publications from SHARE, UN Water, The World Bank, and others. Included are studies on microfinance, a podcast and reports on financing the WASH sector, and case studies on financing options from Tanzania and other relevant countries.
We would like to thank USAID-funded WASH-FIN Project staff for contributing to this issue.
WASH Sector Financing
Financing WASH: How to Increase Funds for the Sector While Reducing Inequalities. IRC; Water.org, April 2017. This position paper for the Sanitation and Water for All Finance Ministers Meeting in 2017 addresses three key issues that are receiving limited attention in the WASH sector discussions on finance: 1) the lack of finance for strengthening the enabling environment; 2) the untapped use of microfinance; and 3) blended finance and inequities in the allocation of finance in the sector.
UN-Water Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-Water (GLAAS) 2017 Report: Financing Universal Water, Sanitation and Hygiene under the Sustainable Development Goals. WHO; UN Water, June 2017. This report presents an analysis of the most reliable and up-to-date data from 75 countries on issues related to WASH financing and other elements of the enabling environment, including plans, targets, data availability, and measures to reach vulnerable populations.
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