This note discusses the utility of Microfinance for Water and Sanitation and the opportunities and challenges for Microfinance Institutions. Access to safe and affordable water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) infrastructure and services is essential to improve the quality of life of people. Yet 2.4 billion people lack access to improved sanitation facilities and 663 million people lack access to safe drinking water around the world. Consequently, access to safe water, sanitation, and hygiene forms a core part of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
The UN SDGs aim to achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all and enable universal access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene by 2030. World Bank estimates that USD 1.7 trillion is needed to meet these targets. The data suggests that public finance by itself will not be enough and private investments or innovative financing approaches are needed.