Doing More with Less: Smarter Subsidies for Water Supply and Sanitation

August 2019

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.

Additional details

PublisherWorld Bank
ThemesSupport mechanisms, Sustainability and safely managed sanitation
ApproachesFinancing approaches

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