Geographic focus and development context
The SDIP (Sustainable Development Investment Portfolio) focuses on the three major Himalayan river basins, the Indus, Ganges and Brahmaputra, which span North-East India, North East Pakistan and the bordering countries of Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan.
This geographic focus is designed to enable Australia to have a deeper level of technical and policy engagement, and in turn support a greater development impact.
The sub-region has an estimated 300 million people living in extreme poverty – the single largest concentration of poverty in the world.
There is heavy dependence on Himalayan water resources for agriculture and livelihoods, and constraints to energy access and supply are seen as major development challenges.
Projected population growth, increasing demands from industry and agriculture, and climate variability are likely to exacerbate water scarcity issues, undermining the region’s economic growth prospects and increasing the risk of cross-boundary tensions.