• The investment through the Water Access Acceleration Fund, a €70 million private equity fund.
  • Investment to improve safe drinking water access in Africa, Asia and Latin America. 
  • First fund investment by the Water Sector Fund, financed by the Netherlands and managed by the EIB.

The Water Sector Fund managed by EIB Global will provide €10 million in the Water Access Acceleration Fund (W2AF), managed by Incofin, a prominent global impact investment manager. W2AF is a “water-focused” blended finance impact fund targeting sustainable and scalable solutions that improve access to safe, affordable drinking water for underserved populations, mainly in Sub-Saharan Africa and South and Southeast Asia. The new initiative will provide 20 billion litres of safe drinking water by 2030. 

The €10 million anchor investment by EIB Global will secure other investments, attract more private investors to W2AF. Through the fund, EIB Global will support innovative water businesses.

Among the first partners to benefit from this equity support will be Rite Water Solutions, a company in India providing drinking water solutions and improving water quality in rural and urban areas of the country. More than 540 000 households are expected to benefit.

This support to W2AF represents the first fund investment by the Water Sector Fund, a trust fund established in partnership with the Dutch government and managed by EIB Global. With its donor financial resources, the Water Sector Fund develops drinking water projects in low- and lower-middle income countries and promotes the UN Sustainable Development Goals.  

EIB Vice-President Robert de Groot remarked, “This investment showcases our joint commitment to enhancing access to safe, affordable drinking water for all. Innovative financial and technical solutions are needed. The W2AF is an excellent example, funnelling water investments to the regions that need it most and helping build the private water ecosystem in emerging markets in Africa and Asia. I extend my gratitude to the Dutch government for their vital support, making this impactful endeavour possible.”

Incofin Chairman Loïc De Cannière stated, “We thank the EIB and the Dutch Water Sector Fund for joining W2AF, together with our diverse investors from Europe and the United States. W2AF is a pioneering, first-ever equity impact fund for the drinking water sector in the Global South. Incofin aspires to make the impact of this fund a success, and an example for other investors. By doing so, it will pave the way for more water funds, helping millions of people around the world access drinkable water, which is a key Sustainable Development Goal and a fundamental human right.”

Cees Bansema, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Luxembourg, explained, “Access to safe drinking water is a human right and critical for social and economic development. This investment in W2AF shows how cooperation makes water projects more sustainable and inclusive. It is also a great example of how we can mobilise additional funding from other financiers or investors. It is a flagship operation of the Dutch-funded Water Sector Fund — combining the Netherlands’ continuous commitment to addressing global water challenges, the EIB’s extensive experience investing in water worldwide, and fund manager Incofin’s unique track record in impact investments.”

Background information

EIB Global is the EIB Group’s specialised arm devoted to increasing the impact of international partnerships and development finance outside the European Union. EIB Global is designed to foster strong, focused partnerships within Team Europe and as part of the EU Global Gateway strategy, alongside fellow development finance institutions and civil society. EIB Global brings the Group closer to local people, companies and institutions through our offices around the world.

The Water Sector Fund is an EIB-managed trust fund established in 2017 in partnership with the government of the Netherlands. It focuses on water sector projects in low- and lower-middle income countries, supporting universal access to water supply, sanitation and hygiene. The fund is open to contributions from other donors seeking to achieve UN Sustainable Development Goal 6: clean water and sanitation for all.

Incofin Investment Management is an impact investment fund management company for the Global South. It is headquartered in Belgium and has offices worldwide. It focuses on investments in financial inclusion, agri-food businesses, and safe water companies, with assets under management of €1.3 billion. Its investor base comprises development banks, institutional investors, family offices and private individuals.