More than 2.3 billion people lack safe drinking water globally, according to the World Bank Group.
In a statement on the bank’s website on Wednesday (March 22), World Bank president David Malpass said the global economic cost of water insecurity is nearly US$500 billion per year.
“Our research shows that poor water quality can reduce economic growth by as much as a third.
“The climate crisis is accelerating the water crisis. But water can also be a part of climate action, for example through nature-based infrastructure, improved irrigation, and climate adaptation,” he said.
Malpass said the World Bank is the largest provider of climate finance to developing countries, with US$31.7 billion in FY2022.
“We have made addressing global challenges such as climate change, conflict and pandemics a priority — our financing for them has more than tripled over the past decade. It has doubled during my presidency, reaching over US$100 billion between 2020 and 2022,” he said.
Malpass said the financing needs in the water sector are enormous — as are the opportunities.
“As the World Bank, we have a portfolio of over US$24 billion in water investments, and projects in over 70 countries.
“We are also finding new ways to finance water — for example, last month, we issued an outcome bond that will provide clean water to schoolchildren in Vietnam, where the investors agree to give up the coupon on the bond in favour of future payments linked to project outcomes,” he said.
BDST: 1230 HRS, MAR 25, 2023