'Basic infrastructure' is one of five sectors on which Belgian Development Cooperation is focusing, in keeping with the law on international cooperation of May 1999. The emphasis tends to be on small-scale developments (wells, waste water facilities, etc.), access roads into rural areas, local energy supplies, and so on. In doing so, a distinction is drawn with larger infrastructure projects where Belgian, as a small donor, is not a suitable partner. However, this does not prevent Belgium contributing to larger infrastructure projects in cooperation with multilateral organisations.
It is difficult to pin down the exact scope of this sector in Belgian cooperation because it differs from the division into (sub-)sectors made by the OECD’s Development Committee to which all donor countries report on the channels and sectors involved in their cooperation. Generally speaking, rather than constituting stand-alone projects, work done on basic infrastructure tends to form part of a larger programme on rural development, health or district development.