5 March 2008, Manila, Philippines
Water and sanitation is a key sector where much effort is needed. With over a billion people without access to drinking water and 2.6 billion lacking basic sanitation, developing the relevant infrastructure constitutes a major challenge. Halving the proportion of people without access to drinking water and sanitation by 2015 would require investments of some 30 billion USD per year, which is twice the current spending levels. To meet these tremendous needs, many countries have sought the involvement of the private sector.
Within the framework of its new horizontal project on “Sustainable Financing to Ensure Affordable Access to Water and Sanitation”, the OECD addresses the economic basis for sustainable water service provision and sound water management. Along with special focuses on pricing, innovative financing business models and realistic financing strategies, the project aims to develop practical guidance to optimise private sector participation in the development and management of water and sanitation infrastructure. The guidance builds on the recently released OECD Principles for Private Sector Participation in Infrastructure and is developed through multi-stakeholder dialogues and reviews of specific country experiences. The Manila expert meeting follows a similar roundtable organised jointly by the NEPAD and the OECD in Lusaka, Zambia on 27-28 November 2007.
The overall aim of the expert meeting was to advance the debate on private sector participation in the water and sanitation sector, by providing a forum for participants to help guide the ADB and OECD in their efforts to develop a better understanding of the key elements of a beneficial partnership. Expected outputs from the Roundtable included a first draft of guidelines, taking advantage of the OECD Principles for Private Sector Participation in Infrastructure for the water and sanitation sector derived from the experience of Asian countries, in order to foster the mobilisation of additional and beneficial private sector involvement.