As a result of rapidly increasing urbanisation, more investment is needed to deliver improved water and sanitation services to low-income customers – particularly in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

WSUP works to mobilise resources that can benefit the poorest urban residents, either from public and private investment, households, or improved targeting and effectiveness of large-scale investment by major international investors.

To date, we have helped unlock over $600 million in additional funding.

WSUP focuses on four key sources of investment:

  1. International financial institutions (IFIs): targeting the flow of large-scale investments
  2. Household finance: enabling low-income customers to invest in affordable services
  3. Public finance: enabling public investments in citywide water and sanitation service delivery
  4. Private sector finance: increasing the involvement of enterprises in public-private partnerships

More large-scale investment in water and sanitation across the board is needed to achieve universal access to WASH services.

The investment [from WSUP, thanks to a grant from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, DFAT] has impacted positively on private sector growth through WSUP support to two FSM operators.”

Partner Performance AssessmentAustralian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), May 2015

International financial institutions (IFIs)

WSUP supports public sector institutions and IFIs to bridge the gap between large-scale infrastructure investment and the needs of low-income residents, supporting programme design and building the capacity of utilities to use IFI funding in service delivery aimed at the poorest.

Blog: February 2020 – WSUP support enables Madagascar utility to access EUR 71.5m in funding

Blog: April 2018 – Towards citywide sanitation in Lusaka: The next phase of non-sewered sanitation

Public finance

Domestic public finance contributions are a crucial element of scaling up services aimed at low-income communities. By working with central and local government institutions, WSUP enables public investments in citywide water and sanitation services.

Blog: December 2019 – Ghana reactivates the call for a National Sanitation Authority

Blog: July 2019 – Is slum sanitation likely to require major subsidy?

Private sector

WSUP helps companies to develop and scale up water, sanitation and hygiene services: enabling the private sector to contribute its own resources to improving services.

Video: December 2019 – A vision of a Green City: can improved sanitation help?

Blog: November 2017 – Enabling the private sector to provide affordable sanitation services in Bangladesh


Household finance

Paying for water and sanitation services informally usually costs more and results in a worse service than when accessing formal services. WSUP’s work enables residents to pay for affordable services that improve their quality of life.

Blog: June 2020 – Citywide access to water and sanitation services in Kenya

Blog: May 2020 – Delegated Management Models: ensuring service delivery at a local level


Nancy Adhiambo_ fishmonger and mother in Githogoro