World Bank to issue $600 million bonds to support water resources

The World Bank is set to issue bonds to raise $600 million for funding the protection of water resources in developing countries, the Bank has said. 

The bonds were announced yesterday at the Sustainable Blue Economy Conference in Nairobi, Kenya. The conference ends tomorrow.

The Bank said a range of institutional and retail investors globally have supported the initiative which was launched in August.

Ten bonds in five currencies have so far been issued with tenors ranging from 2 to 43 years, the Bank said.

Freshwater and marine ecosystems cover more than three-quarters of the earth’s surface and provide critical services from habitats and drinking water, to contributing to climate control, while also providing nutrition, jobs and livelihoods.

The World Bank said it was committed to working with countries to ensure access to safe and clean water and for the sustainable use of ocean and marine resources.

This includes avoiding pollution reaching oceans through better waste management.

“As maintaining precious fresh and salt water resources are complex and challenging, governments must catalyse the private sector to develop innovative solutions,” said Arunma Oteh, World Bank Vice President and Treasurer before adding:

“We are therefore delighted with the diverse range of investors that have purchased our bond series and appreciate the commitment of all stakeholders to new approaches to ensuring better stewardship of our fresh water and ocean resources.”

The World Bank has US$37 billion in water related investments and an oceans related portfolio of more than $4 billion including more than $550 million in projects that contribute to reducing marine pollution in countries such as the Philippines and Indonesia.

The World Bank is also supporting countries as they help make their coastal communities more resilient, often in the face of dramatically shrinking coastlines while also focusing on improving fisheries management in all regions where the Bank works.

“We are pleased that investors are committed to increasing access to clean water and protecting the health of our oceans, both of which are vital to the sustainable growth of economies, livelihoods and the future of our planet,” said Laura Tuck, Vice President of Sustainable Development at the World Bank.

“Investors like these are key to mobilising the kind of innovative financing we need to meet the Sustainable Development Goals," Tuck added

In terms of fresh water resources, the World Bank is committed to achieving “A Water-Secure World for All” where water is managed and shared effectively and sustainable to support agriculture, manufacturing, job creation, households, and the environment.

In a water-secure world, countries can reduce and adapt to the impacts of a changing climate on water, while consuming it efficiently.

In the last two years, the World Bank helped more than 47 million people access safer water and provided more than 24 million people with access to better sanitation.

Investors who contributed in the bonds include Capitulum Asset Management, Global Evolution, HSBC INKA / Swiss Life, Storebrand, and Sydbank all voiced strong support for the strategic focus on SDG 14 and SDG 6.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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