The World Bank’s total financial commitments declined slightly in fiscal year 2013, and its aid to infrastructure sectors fell 13%. Within the infrastructure area, however, transportation funding posted an increase.
The bank reported on July 23 that it provided $52.6 billion in loans, grants and other assistance in its fiscal year ended June 30, down about 1% from the previous year’s total. Bank spokesman David Theis said that, within that total, assistance to infrastructure sectors declined 13%, to $16.7 billion. The 2013 figures are preliminary and unaudited.
Besides transporation, the bank’s infrastructure category also included energy, water, and information and communication technology. Transporation aid rose 14% in FY13, to $5.2 billion, though that was well below 2011’s $8.6 billion.
Assistance for the energy-mining sector fell 34%, to $3.3 billion, and water, sanitation and flood protection plunged 39%, to $2.2 billion.
Assistance to environmental and natural-resource programs and projects also was down in 2013, declining 38%, to $2.5 billion. Urban development aid dipped 29%, to $2.9 billion.
Theis said in emailed comments that the World Bank Group’s infrastructure financing rose significantly in 2009 and 2010, during the global financial crisis. “The current financing has returned to pre-crisis levels,” as a 2012 update to the bank’s infrastructure strategy had anticipated, Theis added.
Theis also noted that the bank’s infrastructure commitments to “fragile states and post-conflict countries” totaled $2.3 billion in 2013, more than double the previous year’s level.
The bank’s 2012 Infrastructure Strategy Update stated that, for the World Bank Group, “infrastructure is at the core of its mandate of growth, poverty reduction and broader development.”