Latin American and Caribbean governments that want to improve water and sanitation services can now apply for grants from the Aquafund, a new source of financing approved by the board of the Inter-American Development Bank on 19 September 2008.
The Aquafund is a fast-disbursing vehicle intended to help accelerate the development of projects in the water, sanitation and solid waste disposal sectors. It can be used to finance activities ranging from pre-feasibility studies to technical training and knowledge dissemination, depending on specific local needs.
During the rest of 2008, the Aquafund could disburse up to $15 million in grants from the IDB’s ordinary capital. Starting in 2009, Aquafund will also mobilize matching contributions from multiple donor countries, providing up to $35 million in grants during the calendar year. Aquafund will also be able to receive contributions from private sources.
Aquafund grants can be used to support projects that subsequently receive both loans with either sovereign or non-sovereign guarantees. It is expected to finance activities such as improvements in the legal and regulatory framework, water resource management, and capacity building at municipal, state and national level. Aquafund grants will also be available directly to water, sanitation and solid waste service operators.
“We have set ourselves the goal of financing projects with 100 of the region’s cities and 3000 of its rural communities by 2011, and Aquafund is going to be a key resource for municipalities that need help getting projects off the ground”, said Federico Basañes, chief of the Water and Sanitation Division at the IDB.
- Latin America: Spain launches US$ 1.5 billion Water Fund, Source Weekly, 10 Dec 2007
- IDB Water and Sanitation Initiative [Apr 2008]
- Peru gets US$80mn from Spanish water and sanitation fund [25 May 2008]
Source: IDB, 19 Sep 2008