18 representatives of the public water sector, the private insurance sector and NGOs from 7 countries (Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia, Palestine, Jordan) have been recently trained in risk and insurance for Public Private Partnerships (PPP) in water infrastructure, in the framework of an activity organised by SWIM-SM (30-31 October 2014, Athens – Greece).
Public-Private Partnership (PPP) contracts entail several types of risks such as political, commercial, legal, engineering, currency, etc. that need to be properlyunderstood and managed. While public and private insurance institutions have a strong role in covering these risks, and thus improving the investment environment, the private local insurance sector in the Southern Mediterranean countries has not been sufficiently engaged and needs to be better informed of the existing tools and methods, as a first step to be able to properly and safely cover PPP risks in the water and wastewater infrastructure market.
The event provided knowledge to the public water sector, the private insurance sector and NGOs on the different types of potential risks that accompany PPPs, how to estimate and manage them, and on the role that can be played by the international organizations, such as the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency MIGA and by the national private insurance companies in reducing them. The participants were also exposed to different organizations, such as the OECD Investment Security in the Mediterranean (OECD/ISMED), and AfDB’s Initiative for Risk Mitigation in Africa (IRMA, the Berne Union, the Prague Union, and some of the commercial insurance companies operating in the region to support countries in fostering safe and efficient PPPs for water services.
Moreover, it improved the understanding about the needs of the local private insurance sector when engaging in PPPs for water infrastructure and of the capacity building needs, such as contract management, deeper understanding of risk allocation and management through the dissection and analysis of actual case studies, a wider exposure to what is happening in the water sector, stronger capacity of the NGOs in monitoring PPPs, of the public and private sector and NGOs for future interventions.
Particularly important, the event allowed to open dialogue between the private and public sector and NGOs present to improve the investment environment for water in the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean countries.
The training took place back-to-back with the 1st Regional Conference of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) labelled project Governance & Financing for the Mediterranean Water Sector (28-30 October 2014, Athens – Greece), organised by the Global Water Partnership- Mediterranean (GWP-Med) in collaboration with SWIM-SM. The Conference set the ground for the sharing of experiences and best practices on governance and sustainable financing for the water sector and addressed the main bottlenecks and cross-cutting issues in the water governance-financing nexus.
Moreover, the event reflected on a platform for regional dialogue on the governance and financing nexus among public, private and civil society actors calling for further north-south and south-south cooperation.
The meeting documents and materials can be downloaded following this link