Multilateral banks commit to address global infrastructure needs
Catherine Talavera (The Philippine Star) - October 15, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Leading multilateral development banks (MDBs) reaffirmed their commitment to work together to deliver infrastructure that is resilient, inclusive, and sustainable,  according to the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

This commitment was made at the MDBs meeting at the Global Infrastructure Forum 2018 (GI Forum) in Bali, Indonesia over the weekend.

The MDBs agreed that their joint efforts should be based around priorities such as increasing technical assistance and advisory services for knowledge creation and knowledge transfer; disseminating knowledge through collaborative events that support the delivery of bankable projects; and contributing to delivering sustainable infrastructure through the MDB Information Cooperation Platform.

They also agreed to focus on mobilizing sustainable finance at scale; support sustainable public procurement and identify infrastructure and capacity gaps, particularly in least-developed countries, landlocked developing countries, and small island developing states and African countries.

The GI Forum gathered private sector investors with representatives from the United Nations and leaders from the African Development Bank, Asian Development Bank, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, European Investment Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, International Finance Corp., Islamic Development Bank, New Development Bank, and the World Bank.

The forum focused on the important role of technology in developing inclusive, resilient and sustainable infrastructure.

The ADB said infrastructure needs across the world remain huge, with an estimated one billion people having no access to electricity, while over 660 million people have no access to clean drinking water. 

“These needs must be met if the global community is to meet commitments to the Sustainable Development Goals. New technologies and approaches such as smart transport systems and innovative climate finance can help to fill the infrastructure gap. They can also help build infrastructure that can withstand climate change and natural disasters,” the ADB said.

The forum comprised of two opening sessions. The first looked at how technology, such as solar energy systems, blockchain, and big data, can be used to make infrastructure more sustainable. The second discussed how to increase private infrastructure finance.

Other sessions looked at using technology to achieve the crucial, but difficult “last mile” of getting services to end users, good practices in scaling up investments in infrastructure, ways of financing the global infrastructure gap, and maximizing innovative climate finance for sustainable infrastructure.

This year’s GI Forum marks the first time this annual forum is being held outside of the US.

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