Infrastructure investment falling in middle- and low-income countries

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Latest Infrastructure Monitor report paints a worrying picture on investment.

The latest annual Infrastructure Monitor report published by the Global Infrastructure Hub (GI Hub) has revealed that private investment in infrastructure projects is tumbling in middle-and low-income countries where investment is needed most.

The 2022 report shows that while investment grew by 8.3% in high-income countries in 2021, it fell for a third year in middle- and low-income countries, by 8.8%. At the same time, the Infrastructure Monitor 2022 report shows that overall private investment in infrastructure projects is stagnant for the eighth year running, despite recovering to pre-pandemic levels.

The Covid pandemic highlighted that lack of investment in sufficient, resilient infrastructure leaves people everywhere vulnerable – to inadequate health care, increased unemployment, poverty and other devastating effects.

The flatlining private investment is particularly notable alongside rising levels of ‘dry powder’ (uninvested capital) and the strong performance of infrastructure investments.

“Dry powder – that is, available but uninvested private capital – has quadrupled since 2010, to $298bn,” said GI Hub chief executive officer Marie Lam-Frendo. “It is unacceptable that we aren’t investing in badly needed infrastructure when we have the capital and we know investments in infrastructure exhibit strong performance compared with investments in other asset classes,” she said.

The report finds a ‘green lining’ in unprecedented levels of green private investment, largely in the renewable energy sector. However, green investment outside renewables remains low and needs to grow to meet climate goals.

“We cannot afford to ignore either the infrastructure investment crisis or the climate crisis. Through public and private sector collaboration, we can work towards solving both,” said Lam-Frendo. “The immediate and absolute priority for the infrastructure community is to join forces and activate a massive surge in investment,” she said.

Infrastructure Monitor 2022 provides governments and investors with data insights to target their investments for maximum impact. The current issue is the third edition and covers trends in private investment in infrastructure projects, infrastructure investment performance, availability of private capital for infrastructure and the role of multilateral development banks in private investment in infrastructure.

Click here to view the key findings and explore the Infrastructure Monitor 2022 report.