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Overview

Quality, sustainable, low-carbon and inclusive infrastructure is crucial for creating a livable planet. The scale of the world’s infrastructure needs is huge, and so is the financing required to meet the needs of millions of people.

Consider that, globally, 675 million individuals are without electricity, 2.3 billion lack drinking water, 3.6 billion lack safe sanitation, 1 billion live more than 2 kilometers from an all-season road, and 450 million live beyond the range of a broadband signal. Addressing these challenges requires about $1.5 trillion every year through 2030 - 4.5% of the GDP of low- and middle- income countries.

In addition, infrastructure is both vulnerable to and a contributor to climate change, making the challenge is even more complex. Every dollar of infrastructure investment must support high-quality, sustainable infrastructure that maximizes its value to a country’s economy, citizens, and environments and that builds resilience to extreme climate events.

Traditionally, governments have led infrastructure financing. But the world is traversing difficult times, and governments are experiencing unprecedented fiscal stress.  Public budgets alone do not stretch far enough to cover the scale and diversity of the challenges we are facing.

Private capital mobilization is crucial to addressing this gap. Given the cumulative impact of intertwined global crises, a step change in both public and private financing is needed.

The World Bank is doing the work to remove constraints blocking private sector investment:

  • We support policy reforms that enhance market transparency and efficiency.
  • We work with clients to establish the institutional frameworks and capacity needed at the country level to bring infrastructure projects to fruition, such as through PPPs. 
  • We develop innovative financing arrangements that combine concessional finance, grants, blended finance, and risk mitigation instruments – such as guarantees – to help get projects off the ground.
  • We create bankable project pipelines that make it possible for private sector financiers to get involved.

Last Updated: Sep 20, 2023

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