Water and sanitation subsidies are disproportionately benefitting the better-off, according to a new report from the World Bank. The study finds that across a number of low and middle-income countries 56 per cent of the subsidies are captured by the richest fifth of the population, while only 6 per cent flow to the poorest fifth. The report also reveals that subsidies total around US$320 billion a year globally, excluding China and India – equivalent to around half-a-percent of these countries’ combined GDP. The report shows how – when well-designed and implemented effectively – subsidies can be powerful and progressive tools in delivering water and sanitation. It provides proposals for making public resources work even harder for the poor.
Doing More with Less: Smarter Subsidies for Water Supply and Sanitation
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