Knowledge Note

These nine case studies were prepared by the World Bank’s Water Global Practice to highlight existing blended finance experiences in the water sector. Blended finance refers to “the strategic use of development finance and philanthropic funds to mobilize private capital flows to emerging and frontier markets,” as per the OECD definition (WEF OECD, 2015). Concessional funds can be used in a catalytic manner to open up new opportunities for commercial financing, by providing technical assistance to borrowers and lenders to help them become more familiar with each other, help structure transactions, provide credit enhancement mechanisms, etc. Private capital flows can help with meeting immediate financing needs for investment in the water sector but ultimately need to be repaid. Repayable financing from private sources to the water sector can come in various forms, including as commercial bank loans, bonds or equity. To obtain such financing, water-sector actors need to be able to repay the borrowed amounts and the associated funding costs, which means that they need to be deemed “creditworthy” by providers of finance.

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