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Asia-Pacific Countries with Special Needs Development Report 2017

Investing in Infrastructure for an Inclusive and Sustainable Future

image of Asia-Pacific Countries with Special Needs Development Report 2017

The Asia-Pacific countries with special needs development report 2017 introduces the access to physical infrastructure index as a tool to capture the multidimensional character of infrastructure and to illustrate the strong positive causality between infrastructure and sustainable development. The report highlights that significant infrastructure gaps exist among the countries with special needs, and estimates that these countries need to invest an average of 10.5 per cent of GDP per annum in infrastructure development and maintenance to close the infrastructure deficit, taking population growth, increasing urbanization and the impact of climate change into account. Such investment far exceeds current levels of infrastructure funding. Given the limited resource availability in countries with special needs, the report emphasizes that clear priorities are required for infrastructure development and that sequencing infrastructure investment is necessary by determining where the impact of additional infrastructure on sustainable development outcomes may be the largest.

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Executive summary

Infrastructure provides wide economic, social and environmental benefits. It enables the provision of services to people, and empowers and connects them to each other and to markets and opportunities. Infrastructure improvement is therefore critical to development, particularly for least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing States, which comprise the group of countries with special needs. Indeed, infrastructure is included as a goal in the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development (Goal 9). In the Addis Ababa action agenda, member States agreed to establish the Global Infrastructure Forum; it is also given a high priority in the Istanbul Programme of Action for least developed countries, the Vienna Programme of Action for landlocked developing countries and the small island developing states accelerated modalities of action (SAMOA) pathway.

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