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Development assistance in South and West Asia

South Asia Regional Development Program: increased water, food and energy security

South Asia Regional Development Program: increased water, food and energy security


The Himalayan rivers region of South Asia has an estimated 300 million people living in extreme poverty–the single largest concentration of poverty in the world. The economies and livelihoods of the majority of people in this sub-region are heavily dependent on the shared water resources that emanate from the Himalayas, particularly the Brahmaputra, Ganges and Indus river basins. Yet there is limited cooperation on shared regional resources. Water scarcity and food and energy insecurity are exacerbated by burgeoning populations, climate change risks and increasing competition for resources between the needs of agriculture, energy, cities and industry.

Related initiatives

Sustainable Development Investment Portfolio

$46 million 2016-2020

The Sustainable Development Investment Portfolio (SDIP) aims to improve the integrated management of water, energy and food in three major Himalayan river basins–the Indus, Ganges and Brahmaputra–covering eastern Afghanistan, Pakistan, northern India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan. SDIP draws on Australia's expertise and technologies in the water, food and energy sectors and is delivered through a combination of Australian and South Asian partners:

  • Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR)
  • Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)
  • International Centre of Excellence in Water Resources Management (ICE WaRM)
  • International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD)
  • World Bank–South Asia Water Initiative Phase II (SAWI)
  • International Finance Corporation (IFC)
  • The Asia Foundation (TAF)

Under SDIP, partners are helping to develop the capacity of senior water resource managers in South Asia, including through the sharing of Australia's water modeling and water resource management expertise. In the agricultural sector, SDIP is building on and adapting the water and energy efficient farming systems to more diversified farming systems and will strength the field to policy links. In the area of energy, SDIP is working with governments to bring quality hydro power investments to market, as well as extending solar power to remote populations through private enterprise, and working with industry to implement energy efficient products and processes.

Related documents*

Name of document Year published Type
SDIP2 Design Document 2016 Design
SDIP2 Annual Review 2016-17 2018 Review
SDIP2 Annual Review 2017-18 2019 Review

Related links

Last Updated: 29 May 2019
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