The $1 billion ambitious Swachh Bharat Rural Sanitation Project in India is an adaptation of a similar successful programme of Egypt, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim has said while citing this as an example of sharing of global best practices.
“Knowledge is flowing across the organisation and to our client countries, driving creativity and innovation,” Kim said in his address to the plenary session of the World Bank Group here.
He stated that the World Bank has successfully transferred knowledge and experience across regions.
“Through our new structure of Global Practices, knowledge sharing across countries has become easier and faster. For example, when the Government of India came to the Bank to prepare a major programme to expand sanitation services for the poor, we were able to transfer knowledge and experience from Egypt’s Rural Sanitation Project and apply it in India,” he said.
Kim stated that this sharing of knowledge resulted in the $1 billion Swachh Bharat Rural Sanitation Project in India, which applied knowledge of good service delivery — in the areas of local governance, transparency and accountability to citizens — that had already been taken to scale in Egypt.
“Thanks to our Global Practices, we are now working to share knowledge from these two projects globally. The changes we put in place were done for a reason: to help us better deliver results for you on the ground,” he said.
“It’s important to note that as we were implementing these reforms, you showed your support with a record 52-billion- dollar replenishment of International Development Association (IDA). And you encouraged us to boost International Bank for Reconstruction and Development’s lending power through our ‘Margins for Maneuver’ programme,” he said, adding that the IBRD’s loan revenues will exceed administrative expenses in the next fiscal year for the first time in a long while.
Citing another Indian example, Kim said he is encouraged by the work that the World Bank is doing now to crowd in private sector investment.
“India has one of the largest networks of roads in the world, but the roads are overwhelmed — just 2 per cent of its national highways carry 40 per cent of traffic, causing bottlenecks that can limit productivity and slow economic growth,” he said.
“In India, as in every other developing country, infrastructure is key to integrating economies and delivering services. To help improve India’s roads, International Finance Corporation (IFC) invested 250 million dollars in the Singapore-based firm Cube Highways. The firm is acquiring a portfolio of toll roads in India, injecting much- needed funds for road developers to complete their projects,” the World Bank President said.
A day earlier, the IFC launched a new lending platform that will, in the next five years, raise $5 billion of private capital for investment in emerging market infrastructure loans.
“The Managed Co-Lending Portfolio Programme that will focus on infrastructure, will enable institutional investors to invest together with IFC in a portfolio of projects. Investors will benefit from credit enhancement provided by IFC and the Swedish development agency, SIDA,” Kim said.
This is an important step toward establishing infrastructure projects in emerging markets as an asset class, he noted.