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The Underlooked Role of Public Development Banks in Financing Water and Sanitation

On September 6, the Water Finance Coalition (WFC) hosted a workshop to explore "The Underlooked Role of PDBs in Financing Water and Sanitation." The event, hosted by the Water Finance Coalition (WFC) in collaboration with CAF, AFD, BANOBRAS, SWA, ALIDE, brought together leaders and experts from various international and regional organizations (see the full participants list below).

H.E. Laura Chinchilla, Former President of Costa RicaSanitation and Water for All Global Leader, moderating the WFC workshop

The workshop emphasized four critical takeaways:

  1. Water as a Global Connector: Water is a crucial connector of global agendas and it is at the core of sustainable development.

  2. Meeting SDGs: The world is currently off-track to achieving SDG6 and other water-related Sustainable Development Goals. To bridge this gap, a substantial increase in investment is imperative, with the potential for Regional and National Public Development Banks (PDBs) to play a pivotal role in ensuring water security.

  3. WFC's Ambitious Goals: The WFC aims to mobilize and catalyze more financial resources, both public and private. It seeks to promote water dialogue, foster collaboration, build alliances, and facilitate knowledge sharing among key stakeholders.

  4. Strategic Action Plan 2030: The WFC has developed a Strategic Action Plan 2030, providing a roadmap for collective action. It outlines medium- and long-term objectives and activities to be undertaken by 2030.

In a significant development, numerous PDBs endorsed the WFC Collective Declaration, signaling their commitment to advancing water security. These PDBs include CAF, AFD, CDP, ICO, KFW, NADBANK, FONPLATA, ALIDE, and PT SMI. Furthermore, during the workshop, several PDBs unveiled their individual commitments to the cause. CAF, AFD, BANOBRAS, FONPLATA, ALIDE, NADBANK, KFW, PT SMI, and BADEA outlined their strategies and commitments aimed at increasing financing, providing support, and fostering capacity development within the water sector.

From left to right: Sidi Ould Tah (BADEA); Darwin Trisna Djajawinata (PTSMI); Sylvain Lefebvre (AFD); Calixto Mateos Hanel (NADBANK); Felix Klauda (KfW); Ángel Cárdenas (CAF); H.E. Laura Chinchilla (SWA); Carlos Puente (BANOBRAS); Mariana Prado (FONPLATA); Xavier Leflaive (OECD); Franz Rojas (CAF), Susana Rojas (SWA); José Alejandro Herrera Lozano (DNP); Anderson Aorivan da Cunha Possa (BNB); Stef Smits (IRC); Arturo Palma (ANEAS); Romy Calderon (ALIDE).

The event also shed light on ongoing initiatives such as the AFD-IRC Technical Support Activity for National Development Banks (NDBs) in the water and sanitation sector. For those interested in the workshop's content, you can access the session recording here and view photos from the event here. The commitments made by PDBs, and the collaborative efforts discussed in this workshop represent a significant step towards addressing the global water and sanitation challenge.

The Water Finance Coalition Workshop 14: The Underlooked Role of PDBs in Financing Water and Sanitation," at Finance in Common Summit 2023, Cartagena, Colombia.

Participants list

  • Keynote speaker: Ángel Cárdenas, Manager of Urban Development, Water and Creative Economies, CAF

  • Moderator: Laura Chinchilla, Former President of Costa Rica


  • Franz Rojas, Chair of the WFC; Head of Water and Sanitation Division, CAF

  • Sylvain Lefebvre, Task Team Leader Water and Sanitation, AFD office Bogota

  • Carlos Puente, Director for Water, Energy and Environment, BANOBRAS

  • José Alejandro Herrera Lozano, Deputy General Director of Investments Monitoring and Evaluation, DNP Colombia

  • Felix Klauda, Regional manager, KFW

  • Mariana Prado, Executive Vice-president, FONPLATA

  • Dr. Sidi Ould Tah, President, BADEA

  • Calixto Mateos, Director General, Nadbank

  • Anderson Aorivan da Cunha Possa, Business Director, BNB (Banco do Nordeste Brasil)

  • Xavier Leflaive, Environment Directorate, OECD

  • Arturo Palma Carro, President of Council, ANEAS

  • Stef Smits, co-director business development, IRC

  • Romy Calderon, Chief Economist, ALIDE

  • Darwin Trisna Djajawinata, Director of Finance and Operations, PT SMI

  • Master of Ceremony: Susana Rojas, Regional Coordinator, SWA


The Water Finance Coalition gathers national and international public development banks aiming to improve the financing of the water & sanitation sector in order to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 6, the Paris Agreement objectives and to enhance biodiversity protection.

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