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World Bank

Volume 458: debated on Monday 19 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development (1) how much his Department contributed to the World Bank’s Public-Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility in each of the last five years; (126124)

(2) if he will make a statement on the World Bank’s Public-Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility.

Although the Public Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility (PPIAF) is not a World Bank fund, it is housed in the World Bank offices in Washington. It is a good example of donors successfully working together in development. The World Bank is one of 14 PPIAF donors.

DFID has supported PPIAF over three phases since 1999. Our total commitment to PPIAF from 1999 to 2008 is £53 million. DFID provided the following funding to PPIAF over the last five financial years.

Amount (£)

2005-06

2,804,781

2004-05

6,525,733

2003-04

7,179,905

2002-03

8,209,761

2001-02

3,598,848

Where developing country Governments do not have the capacity to provide good quality infrastructure and services for their people, PPIAF helps them to develop sound policies, regulations and institutions. PPIAF does this by providing developing country Governments with technical assistance which they can use to tap the full potential of public private partnerships in infrastructure. PPIAF also identifies, communicates and promotes best practice on matters relating to public private partnerships in infrastructure. It is also recognised as a leading resource for training and best practice in the role of public private partnerships in infrastructure service delivery.

There are may examples of PPIAF’s success. For example Kenya PPIAF provided technical assistance and training to enable micro-credit banks to lend to small water providers to provide clean water to rural and semi-urban communities. This has led to 21 micro-credit investments and an output based grant which will result in 60,000 people gaining access to clean water.

Also in Ghana, PPIAF supported the Ghana Community Water and Sanitation Agency with regulatory and legal reform to improve small town water services. This has allowed local water operators to provide clean water to communities for the first time. Communities themselves were involved in the selection of the water providers. This has been successfully implemented in three towns and will be extended to 300 small towns across the country.

After the war in 2002, the Government of Afghanistan recognised that they needed to expand telecommunications access and improve service delivery. They encouraged private mobile phone operators into their market, and asked the PPIAF to help them develop the initial regulatory framework and build the Government’s own capacity and understanding of technical, commercial and regulatory issues. Today, where once there were only two telephones for every 1,000 people, there are now more than 1 million mobile phone subscribers with national and global access, and prices have declined by 70 per cent. through competition. This allows a journalist in Kabul to host a phone-in radio programme providing counselling to women, and helps small scale businesses like carpet merchants, brick sellers and mechanics to manage their businesses effectively and successfully.

An independent strategic review of PPIAF in 2004 and internal DFID reviews have concluded that PPIAF is successful in what it does. Specifically, it has helped developing country Governments’ capacity to improve their policies, laws, regulations and procedures that have resulted in better infrastructure and better services for their people. The PPIAF has also been recognised as a centre of excellence for advice to developing countries on public private partnerships, and there is high demand for PPIAF’s services.

Further information about the PPIAF and its successes can be found in the document entitled ‘Public Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility (PPIAF): Helping developing countries to eliminate poverty and achieve sustainable development through Public-Private Partnerships in Infrastructure’, copies of which have been placed in the Libraries of the House.