This report addresses critical infrastructure from a disaster resilience perspective. It aims to shift the debate regarding investment needs away from a simple focus on spending more and toward a focus on spending better on the right objectives, using relevant metrics such as flood risk. The report does so by offering a careful and systematic approach to estimating the funding needs (capital, operations, and maintenance) to close the service gaps in water and sanitation, transportation, electricity, irrigation, and flood protection.
The main innovations of the authors' work relative to other investment needs estimates are the following: (a) they developed all of the results presented here specifically for this report, following a consistent approach and timeline, and based on clearly specified goals; (b) they used numerous scenarios to explore both uncertainty and the consequences of policy choices; (c) they estimated not only new investments, but also replacement capital costs, as well as maintenance for new and existing infrastructure; and (d) they provided estimates for both access and climate goals.
The report arrives at these key conclusions:
- How much countries need to spend on infrastructure depends on their goals, but also on the efficiency with which they pursue these goals.
- With the right policies, investments of 4.5 percent of GDP will enable low- and middle-income countries to achieve the infrastructure-related Sustainable Development Goals and stay on track to limit climate change to 2°C.
- Infrastructure investment paths compatible with full decarbonization by the end of the century need not cost more than more-polluting alternatives.
- Investing in infrastructure is not enough; maintaining it matters.