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Infrastructure Financing for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific

image of Infrastructure Financing for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific

The development of quality, sustainable, and resilient infrastructure is an important goal of the 2030 Agenda. However, investment in infrastructure in most countries in Asia and the Pacific is insufficient. Developing countries in the region have substantial investment needs in transport, ICT, water and sanitation and energy to attain the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This publication highlights the infrastructure financing landscape and addresses how developing countries in the region can increase infrastructure investment by focusing on the challenges they face along topical areas. Special attention is made to improve public sector efficiency and catalyze private sector involvement to achieve the SDGs.

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Infrastructure for the SDGs: Strategies, Governance and Implementation

The achievement of multiple Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which form the core of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (United Nations, 2015b), requires not only additional investments in infrastructure, but also a reorientation of such investments. While recent policy-oriented research has focused extensively on estimating the financing gaps that need to be addressed to achieve the required levels of infrastructure, and the various financing options for that purpose, there has been relatively less discussion on the kind of infrastructure that is consistent with the vision of the 2030 Agenda, and how it can be planned, built and managed in an efficient manner. This chapter seeks to contribute to the current policy debate on infrastructure and, as Rozenberg and Fay (2019, p. 2) put it, the shift “away from a simple focus on spending more and toward a focus on spending better on the right objectives”. To spend on the right objectives, we first need to understand what kind of infrastructure is needed for the achievement of the SDGs. Such infrastructure projects should be: i) inclusive – ensuring universal access to education, health, water and sanitation, urban housing, transport and other services; ii) sustainable – contributing to mitigating the impact of climate change through, for example, improving energy efficiency throughout the economy, expanding the use of renewable energy, conserving increasingly scarce water resources, and protecting ecosystems from further degradation; and iii) resilient – protecting the population and economic assets from losses due to natural disasters and climate change.

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