Partnership News - August 2012
Four months since the SWA 2012 High Level Meeting (HLM), SWA convened a well attended session at World Water Week in Stockholm to look at what progress has been made, what can we learn from the process and how can all the main players in the sector work together to shape future SWA activities.
Partnership News - May 2012
Partnership News - April 2012
Serious commitments announced yesterday will extend access to sustainable sanitation facilities and improved drinking water sources to millions more people
WASHINGTON DC, April 20, 2012 –-Ministerial delegations from almost 40 developing countries assembled yesterday alongside major donors at a meeting hosted by UNICEF and the World Bank. The meeting, chaired by His Excellency John Agyekum Kufuor, former president of Ghana and Chair of SWA, and moderated by Jan Eliasson, Chair of WaterAid Sweden and incoming United Nations Deputy Secretary General Designate, resulted in commitments to take immediate steps to speed up global access to water and sanitation.
Following engagement with Finance ministries, almost 40 developing countries made pledges that will provide an additional 60 million people with improved drinking water sources and another 80 million people with access to improved sanitation over the course of the next two years. At the same time, donors announced plans to massively increase the number of people they are reaching.
Presenting a statement on behalf of sector ministers entitled ‘A Global Step Change for Universal Access’, Hon. Edna Molewa, Chair of the African Ministers Council on Water (AMCOW) and the South African Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs described the failure to invest as “a trigger to a downward slide into poverty”. The Ministers resolved to increase access to improved sanitation services by 7% and increase access to improved water services by 5% by the next High Level Meeting in 2014.
Hon Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Minister of Finance and for Nigeria, brought the reality from the ground alongside solid economic analysis. In a speech inspired by personal experience, she demonstrated that sanitation and water are not an academic exercise but a real issue for millions of people around the world as she urged her colleagues to look at how they can better define and prioritise sanitation and water expenditure in their budgets.
The meeting had a strong focus on the immense economic gains to be made from investing in sanitation and water, which are estimated at US $170 billion per year. If everyone had access to sanitation and water, the global health sector would save around US $15 billion every year. Further, civil society and others were keen to emphasize the equally important human and social development aspects of investment.
Donors were well represented at a high level. The UK Secretary of State for International Development, Andrew Mitchell, announced that the UK is doubling the number of people they intend to reach with water, sanitation and hygiene education by 2015, from 30 million people to at least 60 million people globally. Meanwhile, the Dutch Minister for European Affairs and International Cooperation, Ben Knapen, announced a new cooperation between The Netherlands and the UK with UNICEF which which will bring water and sanitation to an additional 10 million people in nine countries, mostly fragile, post-conflict states, in West and Central Africa. USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah (United States of America) and Peter Baxter, Director-General of AusAID (Australia) also announced joining the Sanitation and Water for All Partnership.
“We have taken great strides since the first High Level Meeting two years ago” said Kufuor. “Today, I have been impressed by the scope, breadth and attention to detail of this Ministerial discussion. It is a powerful reminder that it is national leadership that will lift performance of this sector. We must now hold ourselves accountable. We will be judged by our actions not our words.”
 All figures are preliminary estimates.
Partnership News - April 2012
WASHINGTON DC, April 19, 2012 –- Ahead of the World Bank’s Spring Meetings here this week, government ministers from almost 40 developing countries are meeting with UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake, UK International Development Secretary of State Andrew Mitchell, Chair of the United Nations Secretary General’s Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation HRH the Prince of Orange, and major donors and water and sanitation sector organizations, to discuss speeding up global access to water and sanitation.
The April 20 Sanitation and Water for All (SWA) High Level Meeting brings together the SWA Partnership of donors and agencies with 69 ministers responsible for finance, sanitation and hygiene portfolios. The meeting is the second of its kind, and comes against the backdrop of an announcement in March from UNICEF and the World Health Organization that the world had met the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target for improved drinking water sources, but that many still lack safe water, and that the target for improved sanitation is lagging far behind and will not be met at current rates of progress.
“Forty years ago exactly, in a triumph of science, engineering, and technology, Apollo 16 landed on the moon. It was the fifth mission to do so,” Lake says, “yet today, 1.1 billion people still practice open defecation because they lack the most basic sanitation facilities.” He continues: “If, two generations ago, we landed men on the moon, we can and we must afford people here on earth their most basic needs.”
His Excellency John Agyekum Kufuor, former president of Ghana and newly appointed chair of the SWA partnership, emphasizes the need for governments to act urgently.
“It is time to focus our energies on neglected areas and neglected people. The dream of universal access to sanitation and water is within our reach, but a tremendous increase in political will, adequate resources and coordinated efforts is required to get us there,” Kufuor says.
The High Level Meeting is moderated by Ambassdor Jan Eliasson, who has recently been named by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as the United Nations’ fourth Deputy Secretary-General. Currently Chair of WaterAid Sweden, Eliasson is a member of the UN Secretary-General's Advocates Group for the Achievement of the MDGs. He notes that sanitation and hygiene are now being recognized as a cornerstone of development, security and well-being, and key to the welfare of the citizens of the world.
“The Ministers who meet today are mindful of the economic value of sanitation and water to developing economies, but also of the human value,” Eliasson says. “They have in mind the children who must be protected from illness, the boys and girls who must go to school, the women who must be freed from back-breaking labour. I know that the world is watching us – and I think those people are applauding.”
According to UNICEF, at least 2.5 billion cases of diarrhoea occur in children under five years of age every year, and an estimated 3,000 children die from it daily. The World Bank says huge savings in health care costs and gains in productive days can be realized by improving access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene and could amount to over 7% of gross domestic product, depending on the country. The economic gains to be made from investing in sanitation and water are estimated at US $170 billion per year. If everyone had access to adequate sanitation and water services, the world`s health sectors would save around $15 billion every year.
Organizers are hoping to build on the success of the first High Level Meeting in 2010, also convened by UNICEF at the World Bank, which led to increased focus and commitments from countries and donors. The 2012 meeting is greatly expanded, with 40 countries taking part, up from 18 in 2010. Of those present in 2010, nine countries have confirmed that they are meeting their commitments of increased budget allocations; and seven of the 13 donors present in 2010 have met or exceeded the targets they set for funding. Countries have also reported improved coordination and accountability among different institutions and almost half the donors have increased alignment with national planning processes.
Note to Editors
The SWA High Level Meeting will be webcast live at: http://tinyurl.com/6r3jdtp
For more information, contact:
Washington: Ms Amanda Marlin, Programme Manager, Advocacy and Communications, Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC), Mobile: +41 79 650 2629, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr Christopher Walsh, Communications Officer, Water and Sanitation Program, Tel: +1 202 473 4594, Email: email@example.com
New York: Ms Rita Ann Wallace, Press Officer, UNICEF, Tel: +1 212 326 7586, Mobile: +1 917 213 4034, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Abuja: Mr Oseloka Zikora, Communications, AMCOW Secretariat, Tel: +234 987 03749, Mobile +234 805 600 0563, Email: email@example.com
London: Ms. Mel Tompkins, Media Officer, WaterAid, +44 (0)20 7793 4995, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Geneva: Mr David Trouba, Communications Officer, WSSCC, Tel: +41 22 560 81 78, Mobile: +41 79 261 5400, Email: email@example.com
The PDF version of the press release is available here.
Partnership News - February 2012
The President of Liberia recently signed the The Liberia WASH Compact which outlines the Government’s commitment to ensuring that the Liberian population can have adequate access to safe water and improved sanitation facilities. The Liberia WASH Compact outlines actions the Government commits to undertake to meet the MDGs challenges through partnership between Government, the Private Sector, Civil Society, Development Partners and the Media.
To read more, follow the link: http://www.shout-africa.com/news/liberia-president-sirleaf-finally-signs-wash-compact/
Partnership News - November 2011
Leading African statesman John Agyekum Kufuor has agreed to bring his significant convening power to help place the issues of sanitation and water high on the global political agenda. A former President of Ghana and Chairperson of the African Union, Kufuor is a longstanding advocate for development. He will chair the next SWA High Level meeting to be held in Washington D.C. in April 2012.
Partnership News - September 2011
The theme for the SWA High Level Meeting will be the economic gains of investing in water and sanitation and the costs of failing to invest. The Concept Note for the 2012 SWA High Level Meeting I (Fr) outlines how multi-stakeholder preparations will take place in 40-50 developing countries as well as the preparatory processes for donors.
Partnership News - September 2011
The majority of commitments made by donors and developing countries at the 2010 High Level Meeting are progressing well or complete, the 2010 High level Meeting Progress Report notes. The Report also indicates that the High Level Meeting dialogue processes have contributed to stronger relations between WASH sector Ministries and Finance Ministries. The stock-taking Report includes detailed annexes with status of the commitments made at the 2010 High Level Meeting.
Partnership News - September 2011
At the recent Stockholm World Water Week (SWWW), SWA hosted the seminar Accelerating WASH in Fragile and Post-Conflict States. The introduction, presentations and discussions from the seminar are available as 5-30 minutes video clips on the SWWW website.
The video clips of the seminar presentations include:
A summary of the seminar by the SWA Vice-Chair Mr. Sanjay Wijesekera is also available. In total more than two hours of presentations and discussion are presented on the SWWW website. The clips can be accessed through this link.
Partnership News - August 2011
In the June 2011 meeting, the SWA Steering Committee decided to establish a new Constituency, the Research and Learning (R&L) Constituency, as half of the institutions in the Sector Partners Constituency fell into this well-defined grouping. The R&L Constituency, which has one seat on the Steering Committee, has elected IRC, represented by Ms. Erma Uytewaal, as its representative to the Steering Committee.
Partnership News - August 2011
To keep partners informed of key SWA events and activities, the latest version of the four-page SWA Newsletter includes stories on:
The Newsletter also presents brief news on the role of WASH in new donor development programmes. To view the Newletter in French, please click here.
Partnership News - June 2011
At the World Health Assembly held in Geneva in May 2011, UN member states adopted several resolutions stressing the importance of water, sanitation and hygiene for improving global health. These resolutions provide a platform for higher prioritization of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in national and global health policy and programmes.
Of particular note is Resolution 64.24 titled Drinking-Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, which recognizes the number of people globally without access to WASH and the health and economic benefits of improving access to WASH services.
requests the Director-General to formulate a new, integrated strategy for water, sanitation and health, focusing on water quality and monitoring, and promotion of sanitation and hygiene behaviour change.
Focal points for WASH at national level, if not already in the Ministry of Health, can utilize the World Health Assembly resolutions to work with MOH to refocus efforts and advocate for a more prominent role for WASH in national policies and resource allocations. Globally, the resolution mandates closer collaboration on drinking water, sanitation and hygiene between the various UN agencies and other international organizations, and entrusts the WHO Secretariat to monitor the implementation of the resolution.
In addition to Resolution 64.24, Resolution 64.15 on cholera control underscores the need to develop plans to prevent cholera, and the crucial role of improved sanitation, hygiene, and drinking-water in cholera prevention. The Resolution urges member states to allocate resources accordingly, including to health and hygiene education.
Also, Resolution 64.16 on Eradication of Dracunculiasis (Guinea worm disease) notes with satisfaction the success in reducing the caseload from 3.5 million cases in 1986 to less than 1800 cases in 2010. The strategy to combat Guinea worm disease includes promoting access to safe water.
The full resolutions and associated reports are available here (link to: http://apps.who.int/gb/e/e_wha64.html).
Partnership News - April 2011
At President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf's invitation, several SWA Partners will join the Government of Liberia to undertake a Joint Multi-donor Mission on sanitation and water from April 27-May 3, 2011. The Government of Liberia is taking the initiative, under the SWA Framework, to shape and drive the redevelopment of water, sanitation and hygiene services in the country. Results from the Mission will be posted on the SWA website. In advance of the Mission, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was interviewed by journalist Rose George: http://www.shout-africa.com/news/liberia-president-ellen-johnson-sirleaf-reaffirms-support-to-wash-sector/
Partnership News - April 2011
In order to ensure balanced regional, gender and cultural representation in the Partnership, two new Members have been elected to the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee welcomes Dr. Sudha Sharma (Secretary of Health, Government of Nepal) representing the Developing Country Constituency and Eng. Ebele Okeke (Former Permanent Secretary, Nigeria Federal Ministry of Water Resources and Former Head of Nigeria's Civil Service) as the Leading Spokeswoman on Sanitation and Water.
Partnership News - October 2010
Following the formalization of the Sanitation and Water for All partnership in September 2010, the Steering Committee has selected Mr. Sanjay Wijesekera, a Steering Committee Member representing the British Government, to be the Vice-Chair of the Partnership.
Under Mr. Wijesekera’s leadership, Sanitation and Water for All will emphasise tangible progress on the ground in the most off-track countries. “I feel really privileged to serve in this capacity and look forward to the support of partners and friends over the coming months to achieve real change,” Mr. Wijesekera noted.
“In the next year, we must meet the challenge of demonstrating that a global partnership adds value in coordinating sector partners and can deliver results on the ground,” he added.
Mr. Wijesekera has worked closely with sector stakeholders and contributed significant leadership to the development of the partnership over the past two years. The achievements thus far of Sanitation and Water for All are impressive, including the 2010 High Level Meeting which brought finance and sector ministers together with development partners for the first time in a global forum to discuss water, sanitation and hygiene. This is a strong platform from which to build and make tangible progress towards ensuring that the poorest people in the world have access to sanitation and water.
The Steering Committee is currently searching for a high-profile Chair.
Read NewsFlash in French and English.
Sector News - October 2010
On October 15 bloggers throughout the world united to raise the profile of the water and sanitation crisis and trigger a global discussion about an important issue that impacts millions of people.
Over 4,600 blog writers, from 135 countries, including a UK Minister and other officials and leaders, representing 35.5 million readers are participating. Here are some sample posts:
October 15 was also Global Handwashing Day, an event launched by the Public Private Partnership on Handwashing. Since its inception
in 2008 – which was designated as the International Year of Sanitation by the UN General Assembly – Global Handwashing Day has been echoing and reinforcing the call for improved hygiene practices worldwide.
Sector News - September 2010
The Governments of Japan, the Republic of Korea, Liberia, Senegal, Tajikistan and the United States co-sponsored the Side Event Addressing the Global Water and Sanitation Challenge: The Key to the MDGs at the MDG Summit, held at the United Nations in New York on September 22, 2010. Over 200 UN Member State delegates (including over 40 dignitaries), UN agency, civil society, and private sector and media representatives attended the Side Event.
Fourteen eminent speakers highlighted the importance of water and sanitation in achieving the MDGs, the need to promote a broad global effort to ensure political prioritization of water, sanitation and hygiene, and to encourage Heads of Governments and Ministers to enact policy changes and appropriately target resources to poor, vulnerable and unserved populations. Participants included:
Listen to the Side Event
Download File and
|Right Click to Download
Partnership News - September 2010
The Sanitation and Water for All partnership now has 59 members, drawn from developing countries, civil society organizations, donors, UN agencies and other sector partners.
These partners have elected a Steering Committee—the decision-making body that represents the partnership’s various constituencies. The Steering Committee and Sanitation and Water for All’s partners will lead the global movement to raise the profile of sanitation and water, increase political prioritisation, promote evidence-based decision-making and support strong national processes.
The Steering Committee includes representatives (serving in an institutional capacity and for inclusive representation of partner interests) from six constituency categories:
Sector Partners – International Water Association (IWA) and Water Aid.
The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) was selected to host the Secretariat supporting the partnership, and will hold an ex officio seat on the Steering Committee.
The inaugural meeting of the Steering Committee took place in Stockholm on the 7th of September 2010 during World Water Week, the annual gathering of the global water community. The Partnership also sponsored two events at Water Week: a Sanitation and Water for All Side Event highlighting progress of the partnership, and, jointly with the EU Water Initiative Africa Working Group, a seminar entitled “Aid Effectiveness in the Water and Sanitation Sector.”
Partnership News - September 2010
In preparation for the Stockholm World Water Week 2010 and to inform the expanding partner and stakeholder base of Sanitation and Water for All and its myriad activities, a four-page partnership newsletter was launched. Prepared by the Sanitation and Water for All Secretariat, the publication:
Photo Water Aid / Suzanne Porter
Partnership News (pdf)
Summary Annex: Tables of 2012 SWA HLM Commitments (this is an excel file with three tabs)