Transforming sanitation sector by catalysing public and private finance through Ghana Sanitation Fund and enabling facility

Impact Areas
Social Impact


Progress in funding
2,630,000 of 42,112,519 USD
Total requested (USD)
Allocated by Joint SDG Fund (USD)
Co-Funding (USD)
Total Funding (USD)
Leverage Target (USD)


The completed preparatory phase centered on the design and refinement of the financial mechanisms and the identification of partners and investors.

The programme


Ghana lacks adequate sanitation services for the management of human excreta: 18% of Ghanaians practice open defecation, 47% use shared toilets, and 88% of waste water is dumped untreated into the environment. This has caused high disease prevalence, groundwater contamination, and a lack of safety and dignity for many Ghanaians. Additionally, households, the public sector and the private sector do not prioritize funding sanitation services due to limited technical capacity, high capital costs, and a perception that sanitation is not a priority sector. In recent years the government of Ghana has recognized the importance of adequate sanitation but despite the clear public commitment financing for this sector of the economy remains grossly insufficient.


The programme will mobilize US$ 39 million to build at least 26,000 toilets that will bring access to basic sanitation to an additional 156,000 people in 5 districts in Ghana. In parallel, over 50 companies will be trained to deliver sanitation services and develop gender-inclusive business plans and 6 financial services providers will be capacitated to offer affordable sanitations loans.


The Ghana Sanitation Fund, capitalized at US$10 million, will deploy debt and equity either directly to large and medium-size enterprises (LMEs) at 15% of interest rate or to local financial service providers (FSPs) at 7% of interest rate and a 3-year term. The FSPs will in turn on-lend to households (17-19% of interest rate) to purchase sanitation services and products and to small and micro enterprises (MSMEs) to purchase materials and equipment required for business growth. In parallel, the enabling facility will improve the investability of MSMEs and LMEs through technical assistance and performance incentives. This approach will address key challenges on both the demand and supply sides of the sanitation value chain and therefore transform the sanitation sector into an opportunity to advance social and economic development.

Financial instruments

The Ghana Sanitation Fund will attract US$ 10 million in debt and equity, 30% of which set as first loss layer. The Fund will provide loans to financial service providers and medium and large enterprises. Loans to financial service providers will allow the service providers to in turn provide concessional loans to households for sanitation installation and services, and businesses to provide sanitation services. Loans will also be offered by the facility directly to businesses that provide emptying services.

UN Implementers

logo UNCDF


Ministry of Local Governments and Rural Development
Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources
Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation
ARP Apex Bank and Rural Community Banks (RCBs)


Impact Areas

Energy and climate action

This impact area covers financing solutions that leverage public and private resources for cleaner and more efficient energy systems and climate adaptation and mitigation action.

Energy accounts for two-thirds of total greenhouse gas, being the main contributor to emissions production. Despite 70% of clean energy investments are privately financed worldwide, in accordance to a special report developed by energy investments on clean energy in developing economies needs to expand by more than seven times, to above US$ 1 trillion, to put the world on track to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. Catalytic grants from the Joint SDG Fund are a critical bound to development finance institutions lending and attract private capital injections. Our portfolio brings financial solutions that span from lending and impact investing to insurance and smart subsidies. It aims to attract private investment to markets and sectors at early stages of readiness – or in situations where the risks are hard to mitigate, such as energy access projects for vulnerable communities or in remote areas.

Blue Economy

This impact area scopes financing solutions that leverage public and private resources for the blue economy.

The monetary value of the world’s oceans has been estimated at US$ 24 trillion by the World Wide Fund for Nature. This wealth is at risk because overfishing, pollution and climate change put an unprecedented strain upon marine ecosystems. Oceans are getting warmer, stormier and more acidic, impacting the health of sensitive marine ecosystems and the lives of human communities that rely on them. Ocean reefs, the home of the planet’s most diverse ecosystem, contribute to the livelihoods of at least 500 million people worldwide generating US$ 36 billion per year for the global tourism industry. Our programmes and pipeline in the blue economy space bring financing solutions that are adapted to the needs of island nations and coastal communities to preserve marine resources and coral reefs while offering income opportunities to coastal populations. They support scalable blue economy businesses, through equity and debt finance, risk guarantees, performance grants, incubation and technical assistance, to build resilience in coastal ecosystems and create jobs not only to allow us to save our planet, but also to build more resilient economies.

Food systems and agriculture

This impact area consists of financing solutions that leverage public and private resources for sustainable agricultural systems and enhanced food security.

Poverty is deeply intertwined with successes or failures in agriculture and food security, with the majority of the rural poor depending on agriculture and natural resources for their livelihoods. Recent estimates from FAO show that nearly 10% of the world population is still undernourished. The impacts of climate change, conflicts and Covid-19 pandemic take an even higher toll - resulting in an estimated 118 million more people suffering from hunger and one in three people not having access to adequate food in 2020. On the other hand, the ecological footprint of the global food system continues to grow in terms of energy, resource use, and the contribution to greenhouse gas emissions. To address these issues, the traditional approach to food policy must be reoriented towards food-system-wide approaches that provide incentives for investments in inclusive and sustainable development of food systems and for steering consumer behavior and food preferences toward healthier and more sustainable diets. Investments in food system innovations are key in driving change towards more a more sustainable and food secure future. Our programmes and pipeline in this area include solutions financial solutions that include microcredit and microinsurance, downscaling schemes from multilateral development banks, and a variety of blended finance facilities supporting agricultural supply chains, smallholder farmers, rural development, nutrition, and sustainable farming transitions. repurpose finance to support sustainable and resilient food systems, reduce finance that is destroying/degrading food systems, optimize finance to mobilize investment and increase access, and scale up public and private finance flowing to healthier diets. Examples include blended finance facilities, de-risking and collateral support mechanisms, sovereign and impacts bonds, business incubators, among others.

Social Impact

This impact area covers financing solutions that leverage public and private resources for social impact sectors including health, education, waste, water, and sanitation. These include Innovative financing concepts that improve the well-being of people and communities, especially vulnerable groups.

Leave no one behind (LNOB) is the central, transformative promise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. LNOB not only requires the elimination of social practices that leave particular groups of people further and further behind, but it also demands equal access to basic services, resources and opportunities for all. This will come at a cost. Achieving LNOB will require significantly more financing than is currently invested in human and sustainable development, and for these funds to be channeled towards improving the lives of those who are furthest away from reaching SDG targets. Focusing on the social sectors, the Overseas Development Institute estimates that global financing requirements for education, healthcare, and social protection transfers alone amount to US$ 137 billion annually in low-income countries. While these sectors require large investments to make the required transition, they often rely on public funds. These are rarely the sectors that private funds invest in, as their objective is to earn a return that is higher than the initial investment, no matter how minimal. Therefore, our programmes and solutions focusing on LNOB innovate the way we finance and address these barriers and close the financing gap, by offering viability gap financing, early stage capital investments, de-risking mechanisms, smart subsidies, and technical assistance to empower people and early stage enterprises driving impact in key social sectors.