The Sanitation and Water For All global partnership will be hosting three virtual Regional Finance Ministers' Meetings (FMMs) in November and December 2020 - Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Asia and the Pacific. The objective of the virtual Regional FMMs is to develop and strengthen partnerships with finance ministers for smart investments in water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH).
Ministers of finance are critical decision-makers and leaders in creating and maintaining the links and partnerships necessary to effectively integrate WASH into the economic and health recovery needed to manage and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2020 Finance Ministers' Meetings will be crucial to building economies which:
- maximize the economic and employment opportunities offered by the water, sanitation and hygiene sector,
- improve health outcomes by making appropriate investments in low-cost, high-rewards preventative programmes such as water, sanitation and hygiene; and
- identify and build partnerships to attract additional finance, including for climate mitigation.
SWA partner countries have started the preparations for the FMMs which reinforce and strengthen country dialogue and action. Through this blog, we aim to capture the updates coming in from our partners across all five SWA constituencies and all four regions.
Please follow and share our blog!
DR Congo holds workshop to validate country overview for FMM
Today, the Democratic Republic of Congo is holding a workshop in Kinshasa to discuss and validate the country overview for the Africa Finance Ministers' Meeting. The workshop is being moderated by Prof. Yvonne Ibebeke, from the Université Pedagogique Nationale and former head of production at REGIDESO, the public water utility.
The SWA Secretariat is making an intervention in this workshop to present the overall context of the SWA and the FMM, and encourage other, equally robust and inclusive preparatory activities for the FMM. The workshop is being attended by representatives of the sector Ministries, civil society and the R&L partners.
Once the country overview is finalized and validated, it will be presented to the Finance and sector Ministers. From 26 October to 6 November, the Democratic Republic of Congo will organize the WASH Financing Week.
Kenya reviews SWA commitments as part of FMM preparatory process
Last week, WASH Alliance Kenya, the civil society network, organised a multi-stakeholder meeting along with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Water, Sanitation and Irrigation. During this meeting, the government representatives and partners from different constituencies reviewed the SWA commitments to make them SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and time-bound). The commitments from the private sector, civil society and research institutions will rally behind the Government's commitments and support their achievements. The SWA CSO national focal point also made a presentation on the upcoming Finance Ministers' Meeting and the preparatory process.
The SWA Commitments have to be planned, monitored and evaluated systematically and collaboratively. Stakeholders have to work together to realise the commitments -Eng. Kyengo @sanwatforall @musitali @WSSCCouncil @kewasnetceo @tomufwoko @WASHallianceKe @minwater_sani @BMURKOMEN pic.twitter.com/GJVnEGf6mV— Neville Okwaro (@nevilleokwaro) October 1, 2020
Lesotho prepares roadmap for engagement in Africa Finance Ministers Meeting
The Government of Lesotho is drawing a roadmap in preparation for the SWA Africa Finance Ministers' Meeting. In a bilateral call with the SWA secretariat, the Government focal point from the Ministry of Water confirmed that WASH Cluster would prepare a brief on the current situation regarding coverage, targets and commitments to meet SDGs and finance gaps in the sector. Key recommendations from the country brief will be presented to the Minister of Water, who will then be briefing the Minister of Finance and Minister of Health. The Ministry of Water is planning to conduct an inter-ministerial dialogue as a breakfast meeting, for which media houses will also be invited.
UNICEF begins preparatory process for Finance Ministers Meetings
On 7th October, over 70 UNICEF water and sanitation country focal points met to know more about and discuss their role in the upcoming SWA Finance Ministers' Meetings. During the meeting, they also considered the option of supporting a finance week in their country and regions to engage key stakeholders in the sector. The session was opened by UNICEF's WASH Chief, Kelly-Ann Naylor and chaired by Guy Hutton, Senior Advisor, UNICEF WASH Section.
Sierra Leone begins preparation for Africa Finance Ministers Meeting
The Government of Sierra Leone has started the preparation for the Africa Finance Ministers’ Meeting. Today, the representatives from the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Water Resources, along with UNICEF and WHO met at WASHNet’s (Civil Society Network) office. During the meeting, they reviewed the country preparation guidance note and have started the process to prepare the country overview for ministerial briefings. The country overview will highlight the role of water, sanitation and hygiene for economic benefits of investing in this sector, especially in the times of COVID-19. The next meeting has been scheduled for October 14, 2020.
Cambodia Government to hold multi-stakeholder meeting for Asia FMM preparation
Cambodia will kick off the preparatory process for the Asia Finance Ministers' Meeting (FMM) next week with a multi-stakeholder meeting. The preparatory process is led by the Ministry of Rural Development and supported by partners like UNICEF, WaterAid, Water.Org, WSSCC, among others. The Government will use the opportunity of the FMM preparatory process to review the existing SWA commitments in a multi-stakeholder way. Additionally, partners from different constituencies will be mobilised to develop their commitments to support Government commitments.
As Cambodia will celebrate the National Sanitation Day in the third week of November which coincides with the WASH Finance week (the week before the Asia Finance Ministers' Meeting), some common activities will be planned by the Government for both the events.
South-South learning and Ministerial-level dialogue on sector financing
On 1 October, the SWA Secretariat facilitated an event to strengthen South-South learning and contribute to the political dialogue on water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). This virtual event started with a specific country initiative – the Avotr'Aina operation in Madagascar, which seeks to reach the most vulnerable urban populations with essential WASH services. The ensuing dialogue saw Madagascar's WASH Minister discussed with a domain expert, the country's specific challenges in sector financing and some possible, actionable solutions, taken notably from the SWA Finance Handbook. Catarina de Albuquerque, the CEO of SWA, moderated the event.
This event was part of SWA's focus on sector finance and complements activities related to the in-country preparatory process for the Finance Ministers' Meetings.
Click on this link to watch the full event.
Liberia CSO WASH Network engages WASH Commission on FMM preparation and SWA commitments
Following the launch of the SWA Finance Handbook on September 3, the Liberia CSO WASH Network has started engagements with the National Government to prepare for the upcoming Africa region Finance Ministers’ Meeting (FMM). The CSO network has agreed on undertaking a media campaign and have planned several advocacy meetings with the Liberia WASH commissions, the WASH Legislative Caucus, the Finance Minister and the Head of the State.
On September 17, the Liberia CSO WASH Network met with the Chairman and Executive Director of the National Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Commission of Liberia (NWSHC) to follow up on progress on the FMM preparation and the implementation of the Liberia SWA commitments.
The Liberia WASH Commission Chairman, Hon. Bobby Whitfield said the Government of Liberia is taking following steps for the preparation of the Finance Ministers’ Meeting:
- Reactivation of SWA Finance Minister’s Meeting preparation technical committee
- Hosting of Joint Sector Review (JSR) in October 2020 to help inform the government on the current status of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector with recommendations
- Appointment of the Human Rights Officer and the recommendation for two civil society representatives to work with the Human Rights Department at the Liberia WASH Commission
- Follow-up and reporting back on the SWA commitments taken by the Liberia Government and the Civil Society
On September 24, the WASH Legislative Caucus has officially written to the Liberia Finance Minister and the WASH Commission Chairman to create mobilization around SWA Finance Ministers meeting.
WASH Legislative Caucus has written Finance Minister and WASH Commission on Liberia preparation for @sanwatforall #FMM2020 @CanisiusKana @CatarinadeAlbuq @anjanikapoor @WaterAidMM @ChuchuSelma @LouisaGosling1 @TimeyinUweja @TimBrewer1 @MStreyle @BobbyWhitfiel14 @musitali pic.twitter.com/LS8jICMsMb— Timothy Kpeh (@KpehTimothy6) September 24, 2020
Malawi: WASH actors meet the Minister with recommendations on finance gaps
On September 9, the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) donor groups and civil society actors from the Water and Environmental Sanitation Network (WESNET) met with the new Minister of Forestry and Natural Resources, Honorable Minister Nancy Tembo who is also responsible for WASH. Through this meeting, WASH actors discussed issues related to sector financing and policy reforms and presented the following recommendations to the Minister:
- A sound financing strategy for the sector, including increased budget from the government and exploring innovative financing streams (e.g. climate financing, private sector financing and non-concessional financing) as well as possibilities for pool funds/ Sector Wide Approach to Planning (SWAp).
- A robust reporting and monitoring system, based on open-source data and information sharing, is required for collective action to meet targets.
- A sound climate-resilient WASH strategy, looking at durability and self-sustainability of solutions for communities and adoption of “green technologies”. This strategy would help to better position WASH in the national resilience plans.
- The establishment of an independent regulatory agency is of great importance for review and definition of tariffs and cost recovery mechanisms, the definition of standards for construction, quality of services and environmental protocols. Issues on independence and governance of Water Boards should be looked into as well.
- Aggressive rolling out of market-based solutions is needed to boost access to basic sanitation services as well as the removal of taxes and import duties for sanitation and hygiene products.
- Institutional arrangements for sewerage and faecal sludge management (FSM) management in urban areas (City Councils vs Water Boards) need to be clarified and based on cost-recovery and cost-effectiveness of operations.
- There is a need for greater emphasis on building sector capacities at the national as well as the decentralized level—higher investment required for research.