The World Bank has approved a new Infrastructure Action Plan that looks at alternative ways of project financing, especially public-private partnerships.
The World Bank has identified infrastructure as an increasingly important goal within its development agenda. Infrastructure development often impacts several economic growth areas.
The provision of safe water, for example, has a direct impact on reducing child mortality.
In view of the 45% drop in private infrastructure financing between 1997 and 2002, the bank has "rediscovered" public financing.
This can be seen in the emphasis on output-based aid, which combines private sector participation with public subsidies for the poor. One of the new tools developed as part of the Action Plan is REDI or 'Recent Economic Developments in Infrastructure' that analyze country infrastructure performance and needs.
The Action Plan highlights linkages with the Millennium Development Goals. Infrastructure can either play a direct role, as it does through the provision of safe water and its impact on reducing child mortality, or an indirect role, as with the contribution of transport to increasing children's access to education, according to bank officials.