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Enhancing Connectivity through Transport Infrastructure

The Role of Official Development Finance and Private Investment

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Transport infrastructure is crucial to connect developing countries and help them to boost trade, growth and regional integration. This is because cross-border or long-distance roads and railways as well as international ports and airports are needed to move products and people around in a globalised world.

What can bilateral and multilateral development partners do to help connect developing countries through transport infrastructure? This report takes stock of continental and regional transport plans in Africa, Asia, Latin America and parts of Europe to place development co-operation in context. It then examines the strategies and activities of development partners for transport connectivity. It also takes a hard look at the allocation of official development finance for transport connectivity, particularly in relation to the distribution of private investment for the same types of infrastructure.

How large is the financing gap for transport connectivity to meet the Sustainable Development Goals? What can development partners do to fill this gap? How can they create an environment that can help mobilise more private resources? The report provides a comprehensive picture of the current state of play as well as food for thought on what can be done to move forward. It also features 16 profiles of development partners and their activities for improving transport connectivity.

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Strategies and activities of development partners for transport connectivity

In order to help developing countries improve transport connectivity and meet the SDGs, development partners have established strategies and programmes that provide frameworks for their projects. The following summarises the main features of some major partners. In general, by enhancing transport connectivity in developing countries, development partners aim at increasing jobs, reducing poverty, stimulating economic growth, fostering regional co-operation, and facilitating countries integration in global value chains. Moreover, they support regional or sub-regional transport connectivity plans based on their respective geographical focus or specific considerations. In addition, there are global and regional initiatives, including pooled funding facilities, which allow development partners to ensure coherence and co-ordination among themselves and with partner countries in carrying out projects. Besides financing hard transport infrastructure, development partners spend about 13% of official development finance on soft aspects to help develop relevant master plans, legislation, and policies; improve customs clearance at borders, facilitate knowledge sharing and project information to mobilise private investment; and promote public‑private partnerships.

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