The project will be implemented by International Finance Corporation, a global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets, under the programme for accelerating climate-smart and inclusive infrastructure in South Asia (ACSIIS).
A five-year programme (2021-2026), the ACSIIS is aimed at helping spur investments in energy, water, waste management, transport, logistics, and green buildings to benefit people and businesses in Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. The initiative to leverage USD 850 million of private sector investments in the region comes amidst the severe impact of COVID-19 on investments in infrastructure which saw commitments in infrastructure with private participation in 2020 drop by an unprecedented 52 per cent from 2019 levels.
The IFC estimates that South Asian countries can unlock more than USD 3 trillion of climate-smart investment opportunities by fully meeting national targets under the Paris Agreement by 2030. According to Hector Gomez Ang, Regional Director for South Asia at IFC, attracting private capital for climate-smart infrastructure in a sustainable and inclusive manner will be critical for post-COVID-19 recovery in South Asia.
Under the ACSIIS, the development of climate-smart investments in agriculture, manufacturing, tourism, health and education will also be supported, widening the existing EU cooperation in India into a regional intervention with multi-sector coverage. Further, IFC will support early-stage market development to address key market-wide constraints, as well as deliver project-level technical advice to structure sustainable infrastructure investments for the target countries.
The programme will also support capacity building of private and government sectors to improve their ability to design, structure, and implement sustainable infrastructure projects.