World Bank allocates US $ 2.1 billion to create sustainable cities

In the midst of a scenario of health crisis and economic uncertainty in almost all the countries of the region due to the measures taken by each government to combat the coronavirus, the world Bank prepares a millionaire disbursement to facilitate greater investments in projects of sustainable urban infrastructure in Argentina and the rest of Latin America.

The initiative includes a disbursement close to u $ s2.100 million and it will be channeled by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the credit arm of the global banking entity.

The funds will be used to create a new technological platform called “LAC Cities” designed to establish and strengthen strategic alliances with a select group of municipalities in the country and in the region.

The initiative was created in 2018 at the initiative of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) together with the United Nations Program for Human Settlements (UN-Habitat) and the Forum of Ministers and Highest Authorities of the Sector of Housing and Urban Planning in Latin America and the Caribbean (MINURVI).

The plan is based on financing the implementation of a technological platform in Argentina and the rest of the region as an instrument to facilitate the follow-up and monitoring of urban development and to promote capacity building and the exchange of experiences and practices among peers..

In addition, it will have an Observatory where you can view consolidated information about the cities and urban areas of the region.

It will also house a Virtual Forum to promote capacity building among those interested in urban and city issues with the aim of supporting these areas to plan and implement quality infrastructure projects, make them credit subjects and finance them by taking advantage of the capital of the private sector, thus complementing the scarce public sector resources.

The goals of the new platform are ambitious and are established through a schedule that ends in 2030 and has not yet been modified by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on all social and economic aspects of the life of a country or of a city.

The issues are:

  • Ensure access of all people to adequate housing and basic services
  • Improve slums
  • Provide access to safe and sustainable transportation systems
  • Increase inclusive and sustainable urbanization
  • Reduce the negative environmental impact per capita of cities, including paying special attention to air quality and municipal waste management.

It also seeks to provide universal access to green areas and safe, inclusive and accessible public spaces; support positive economic, social and environmental ties between urban and rural areas by strengthening national and regional development planning.

Other objectives are added, such as increasing the number of cities that adopt integrated policies and plans to promote inclusion, the efficient use of resources, the mitigation of climate change, and develop and implement comprehensive disaster risk management for all levels.

International support

According to an IFC document to which EconoSus had access, the support of the international financial sector “will help optimize the use of scarce public funds and, therefore, will address the financial gap for urban infrastructure projects and it will directly contribute to increasing access to infrastructure services for citizens, improving the quality and / or efficiency of urban services ”.

As a result, the report ensures that cities would strengthen competitiveness through job creation, economic growth and greater operational efficiency.

Within this framework, the “Cities of LAC” platform will focus on supporting municipalities that show creditworthiness in their accounts in a variety of urban infrastructure sectors, including transportation, municipal solid waste, water and wastewater.

Also in green building construction, municipal finance as well as smart city technologies.

The framework to advance this regional strategy of paradigm changes in large cities is based on the fact that Argentine cities and the rest of Latin America they have a high level of urbanization since approximately 80% of the population lives in cities and settlements.

Given the weight of this human and economic capital, in addition to a growing ecological footprint, these areas, such as the City of Buenos Aires and various regions of the Buenos Aires suburbs, have become increasingly important on both global and national government political agendas. .

These cities are seen as engines of growth and poles of innovation, areas for making decisions, creating policies and initiating processes to achieve structural change that seek to promote the new sustainable development agendas.

A view that positions the city as a central axis in the process towards sustainable development and that is reflected in the 2030 Agenda, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in September 2015 in which the stated objective is to “Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”.

Goal 2030

In this framework, the new platform that the IFC will finance will support municipalities and regional governments, as well as private sector companies that provide urban infrastructure services.

According to the creation project, the new application will be structured in three components of mutual support:

  • Strategic partnerships
  • Support for project development
  • Upstream commitments and knowledge management.

In the first case, the IFC will seek to finance the development or strengthening of long-term continuous strategic alliances with Argentine cities and their leadership teams to provide them with strategic advice that allows them to plan for the long term.

The funds will also be used for capacity development and the implementation of sustainable urban infrastructure strategies.

In the second case, the platform will provide specific advisory support to individual high-impact urban infrastructure projects, focusing on obtaining financing, for example, addressing risks and improving their impacts.

“By offering cities this comprehensive set of advisory solutions and participating as an independent advisor, IFC ensures that projects are carried out in accordance with international best practices and are therefore suitable for commercial financing,” the report argues. .

IFC will also be able to help address any obstacles related to environmental and social risks, and can support projects aimed at improving their impact on development and operational performance, as well as the management of infrastructure assets.

Other objectives of the new platform are to enable IFC to participate in activities that improve the enabling environment for sustainable municipal infrastructure projects and to increase knowledge and exchange between municipalities and private sector solution providers.

In addition and as a result, five key components are proposed to shape and structure the platform:

  • Analyze the national panorama of the urban situation in each of the countries that make up the Latin American and Caribbean region.
  • Prepare a representative sample of cities that publicize urban initiatives at local levels in the region
  • Have a regional action plan that allows monitoring and evaluation of compliance with the six lines of action.

Publish Date: May 9, 2020

Written by Argentina News

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