Newsletter and Technical Publications
<International Source Book On Environmentally Sound Technologies
for Wastewater and Stormwater Management>
5.9 Financing7,8 , (Topic i)
Several estimates have been made on the resources needed, and the cost of providing, universal
coverage of water and sanitation in the Region. According to UNICEF, it would require 52.2 billion
dollars between 1990 and 2000 to provide universal coverage in water and sanitation. This sum does
not take into account the rate of inflation during the period and the cost of operation and
maintenance of facilities.
In 1985, the Latin American Office of the World Bank estimated that it would require 92 billion
dollars in investment in the sector to achieve universal coverage by the year 2000. This figure
included cost of training of personnel and sector organization. This investment plan also suggested
that Bolivia, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua and Peru, would need to invest about 1%
of their gross domestic product to that sector. Unfortunately evidence suggests the investments
needed were not generated and allocated.
The Regional Plan of Investment in Health and the Environment (PIAS) proposed by PAHO, following
the reintroduction of cholera in the Region, estimated a total investment of 115 billion dollars in
sanitary infrastructure between 1993 and 2004 to achieve universal coverage of water and sanitation.
It was proposed that the bulk of the financing (70%) come from national investments and the
remaining 30% would come from external investments. This proved impossible in the period, given
financial constraints and the choice by Governments to support other priorities.
The information provided by the countries is not sufficient to give an accurate account of the
total investments in the sector during the period 1990-95. However, the preliminary indication is
that the total investments in the sector for the period, do not nearly approximate the estimated
requirement to meet the Mid-Decade targets for the goal of universal coverage by the year 2000 or
2003 as indicated in the Regional Plan of investment and other estimates. This means the present
situation is likely to remain in the near future.
The principal total investments in the sector were reported by Argentina (US$ 800 million),
Bolivia (US$ 271 million), Dominican Republic (US$ 787 million), Ecuador (US$ 542 million), El
Salvador (US$ 140 million), Mexico US$ (1,928 million), Nicaragua (US$ 111 million) and Peru (US$
955 million). In addition, information provided by Brazil and Chile indicated external investments
of US$ 3.9 billion and US$ 229 million respectively. A probable estimate of all investments in the
sector would probably be approximately US$12 billion for the period 1990-1995.
The information provided by the financing agencies indicated that the two largest investment
banks, the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank, invested a total of US$ 4.27 billion
during the period 1991-95, including US$ 1.58 billion in Mexico. The German Government (GTZ and KFW)
reported spending US$ 111.3 million during the same period, and CIDA US$11.2 million in Central
America. The Caribbean Development Bank reported spending US$ 53.9 million in water and sanitation
projects in the Caribbean. This would indicate a sum of US$ 4.5 billion invested in the sector for
the period under review. Other agencies that provided investment in the sector include JICA, USAID,
UNICEF and the European Community (EEC).
Details of the individual country investments are shown in Table 5.25; Investments in Latin
America and the Caribbean by the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank are shown in
7 data extracted from the 1990-1995 Evaluation provided by PAHO.
8 figures include Caribbean countries as well.