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Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Finance (WASH-FIN)

Closing financing gaps to achieve universal access to water and sanitation services through sustainable and creditworthy business models, increased public funding, and expanded market finance for infrastructure investment.

WASH-FIN CONTEXT

Closing financing gaps to achieve universal access to water and sanitation services through sustainable and creditworthy business models, increased public funding and expanded market finance for infrastructure investment.

Globally, 663 million people do not have access to safe drinking water and 2.4 billion people lack access to improved sanitation. Governments have set ambitious targets for universal access to water and sanitation by the year 2030, but an unprecedented mobilization of funding will be required to meet this goal. A 2016 analysis by the World Bank estimates that $114 billion per year of capital investments will be required to meet universal access to safely managed water and sanitation services by 2030, or about three times the current investment levels. USAID’s WASH-FIN project works in collaboration with national governments, development partners, private capital market institutions, service providers, and local government, sector, and community stakeholders in at least eight countries to close financing gaps and improve governance structures that enable targeted countries to become self-reliant by accessing reliable sources of capital for sustainable, climate resilient water and sanitation infrastructure.

WASH-FIN APPROACH TO CLOSING FINANCING GAPS

WASH-FIN’s approach to closing financing gaps is based on the premise that all citizens should be treated as valued customers and adequately served by water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) service providers. To do this, WASH-FIN advocates for commercially viable business models that strengthen creditworthiness, within clear regulatory and governance structures. Building on that, WASH-FIN aims to increase and leverage public investment with repayable, market, and other sources of finance to expand or improve service delivery. Finally, WASH-FIN disseminates these efforts to demonstrate what is possible and provide models to further build on and replicate. The following strategic lines of action encompass this approach to move the sector toward the goal of closing the financing gaps to reach universal access:

WASH-FIN Focus Area Graphic

Closing financial gaps for global water supply and sanitation services in Africa. Photo Credit: Renate Wefers

Overview

CHALLENGE

The World Bank estimates that $114 billion per year—or three times current investment rates—will be required to achieve universal access to water and sanitation by 2030

Bridging the massive financing gap will require increases in public investment and expanded utilization of private finance.

USAID'S WASH-FIN APPROACH

USAID’s WASH-FIN project provides technical assistance and services to help municipalities and utilities track and mobilize greater financial resources for improved service delivery.

Improving access to water supply and sanitation services for municipalities. Photo Credit: DFID/Russell Watkins

Partners

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Addressing Nepal's Water Crisis. Photo Credit: The Diplomat

Resources

The Mbombela Public Private Partnership Water Concession Brief The Mbombela Public Private Partnership Water Concession Brief
Brief

South Africa faces a capital investment funding gap of approximately USD $20 billion to meet the country’s national objective of universal access to water and sanitation by 2030. Private sector participation in service delivery could contribute to…
 Reflections on Supporting Investor Readiness for Utility-Scale Sanitation Treatment Technologies Reflections on Supporting Investor Readiness for Utility-Scale Sanitation Treatment Technologies
Report

This report describes the USAID Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Finance (WASH-FIN) program’s experience providing investor readiness support to companies pioneering utility-scale sanitation treatment technology solutions in urban settings in Senegal,…
Panelists articulating their views on the need to enhance women’s participation in WASH. Bridging the Governance and Finance Gaps in the WASH Sector
Blog

The WASH sector needs to invest 263 billion USD per year to achieve universal access to water and sanitation by 2030. This figure is more than $100 billion USD over previous estimates, reflecting the reality that expenditure has lagged and now…
Increasing Financing for Private Water Operators in Cambodia Increasing Financing for Private Water Operators in Cambodia
Brief

Private water operators have helped to bridge the finance gap within the WASH sector in Cambodia, yet several critical challenges remain. To address these challenges, USAID’s WASH-FIN Cambodia program was designed to help achieve universal access…
Assessment of the Kenya Pooled Water Fund Assessment of the Kenya Pooled Water Fund
Brief

The Kenya Pooled Water Fund (KPWF) was established in 2017 to expand  the pool of available financing beyond government and development partners who have been the main sector financiers to date.  KPWF planned to dedicate $100 million USD…

Treatment is integral to the fecal sludge management chain in Senegal. Photo Credit: ONAS Senegal

Blog

Check out blogs written by or about the WASH-FIN program.

Panelists articulating their views on the need to enhance women’s participation in WASH. Bridging the Governance and Finance Gaps in the WASH Sector
Blog

The WASH sector needs to invest 263 billion USD per year to achieve universal access to water and sanitation by 2030. This figure is more than $100 billion USD over previous estimates, reflecting the reality that expenditure has lagged and now…
USAID is working in South Africa and Kenya to improve the creditworthiness of its water service providers to expand sustainable water access. Photo credit: City of Cape Town Safeguarding Water for the Future: Helping Water Utilities Become Resilient and Financially Sustainable
Blog

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the crucial role of water and sanitation in safeguarding human security. The pandemic has also brought to the fore the lack of access to water and sanitation for a vast majority of the world’s population—more…
Staff from the Surkhet Valley Water Supply Users’ Organization were among the participants in a USAID Business Plan Dissemination workshop in Kathmandu, in January 2020. Photo credit: Hari Neupane/WASH-FIN How Business Plans Can Help Water Utilities Reach Universal WASH Access
Blog

Globally, governments have set ambitious targets for universal access to safe drinking water and improved sanitation by 2030. Yet, most water utilities struggle from under-investment resulting in poor service quality. This leads to a vicious cycle…
Waiting in line for water should be a thing of the past, not a portent of the future. Photo credit: Shutterstock World Water Day 2020: Five Ways USAID is Helping Thirsty Cities
Blog

Our world is becoming more urban, and USAID is helping partner countries adapt to this rapid change. By 2030, 68 percent of the world’s population will be living in cities, with the majority of that growth happening in the developing world. The…
Locals collect water at the Saku water kiosk in Marsabit County, Kenya. Photo credit: Johnson Nganga / Kenya RAPID CCU Marsabit USAID at World Water Week: How Strong Governance Attracts Investment
Blog

How can universal water and sanitation access be achieved by 2030? To start, these sectors must attract non-traditional financing, as available public financing represents only one-third of the $114 billion in capital investments required…

Photo Credit: WASH-FIN

Countries

WASH-FIN Where We Work Map

KENYA ACTIVITY

  • Duration: 3 years (started May 2017)
  • Budget: $5 million
  • Goal: To expand financing for viable utility companies aimed at increasing investment in expanded access to or improved service quality of safe and reliable water and adequate sanitation.
  • Specific Objectives: Financial Flows Tracking; Creditworthiness and Investment Planning; and Transaction Facilitation

SOUTH AFRICA ACTIVITY

  • Duration: 1.5 years (started July 2017)
  • Budget: $1.8 million
  • Goal: To expand financing for viable municipalities aimed at increasing investment in expanded access to or improved service quality of safe and reliable water and adequate sanitation. 
  • Specific Objectives: Transaction Facilitation, and Knowledge Sharing through workshops

SENEGAL ACTIVITY

  • Duration: 2 years (started August 2017)
  • Budget: $2 million
  • Goal: Expand access to WASH financing by supporting the design of a “Blue Fund” financing facility and providing transaction facilitation for private sanitation service providers, aimed at increasing investment in safe and reliable services.
  • Specific Objectives: Design of Sustainable WASH Funding Mechanism; and Transaction Advisory Services to Private WASH Providers

NEPAL ACTIVITY

  • Duration: 2.5 years (started September 2017)
  • Budget: $2.6 million
  • Goal: To develop and institutionalize sub-national WASH services models, based on commercially viable approaches to customer-centered service delivery, using cost-reflective tariffs and clear business plans which facilitate access to blended repayable finance from the Government of Nepal’s Town Development Fund.
  • Specific Objectives: Institutional Models for Water Supply and Faecal Sludge Management; Creditworthiness Enhancement; and Knowledge Sharing

CAMBODIA ACTIVITY

  • Duration: 3 years (started September 2017)
  • Budget: $3 million
  • Goal: To expand the market for commercial lending into the WASH sector, complete loan agreements for private water service providers with possible use of credit enhancements, aimed at sustainable WASH infrastructure and service delivery.
  • Specific Objectives: Creditworthiness and Market Assessments; Access to Local Commercial Market Finance; and Knowledge Sharing

PHILIPPINES ACTIVITY

  • Duration: 1 year (started October 2018)
  • Budget: $1 million
  • Goal: To operationalize the Government of the Philippines’ Unified Financing Framework (UFF) with an institutional structure that can rationalize financial flows into the WASH sector aimed at increased investment in improved quality of safe and reliable water and adequate sanitation services, and tracking of expenditure.
  • Specific Objectives: UFF Establishment and TrackFin

MOZAMBIQUE ACTIVITY

  • Duration: 2.5 years (started November 2018)
  • Budget: $4.7 million
  • Goal: Expand financing for viable water and sanitation service providers to enable them to invest in improving service quality and/or increasing client access to safe water and adequate sanitation.
  • Specific Objectives: Increase Understanding of WASH Financing Options,  Transaction Support Services to Private WASH Providers, Support for Alternative Financing Opportunities

Contact Us

Contact details: Ella Lazarte elazarte@usaid.gov or Alyssa Boyer Alyssa.Boyer@WASHFIN.org

 

Reliable clean water supply is the basis for good hygiene practice in Kenya. Photo Credit: Adobe Stock