The World Bank releases new action plan for infrastructure

The World Bank has approved a new Infrastructure Action Plan that looks at alternative ways of project financing, especially public-private partnerships.

Aug 13th, 2003

Aug. 13, 2003 -- The World Bank has approved a new Infrastructure Action Plan that looks at alternative ways of project financing, especially public-private partnerships.

The World Bank has identified infrastructure as an increasingly important goal within its development agenda. Infrastructure development often impacts several economic growth areas.

The provision of safe water, for example, has a direct impact on reducing child mortality. Providing communities with electricity frees women and children from long hours fetching firewood, and allows them more time for productive activities. Children especially are able to devote more time to their school work.

In view of the 45% drop in private infrastructure financing between 1997 and 2002, the bank has "rediscovered" public financing.

This can be seen in the emphasis on output-based aid, which combines private sector participation with public subsidies for the poor. One of the new tools developed as part of the Action Plan is REDI or 'Recent Economic Developments in Infrastructure' that analyze country infrastructure performance and needs.

The Action Plan highlights linkages with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Infrastructure "can either play a direct role, as it does through the provision of safe water and its impact on reducing child mortality, or an indirect role, as with the contribution of transport to increasing children's access to education," said Bank director Wolfensohn.

Partnerships play an important role in the Bank Group's work in infrastructure, and the Infrastructure Network is home to a number of global programs involving various partnerships.

To see more information on the topic, visit http://www.worldbank.org/infrastructure/.

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