- OFID observes World Water Day
OFID observes World Water Day
In 1993, the United Nations General Assembly officially designated March 22 as World Water Day. World Water Day is coordinated by UN-Water in collaboration with governments and partners. This year’s theme focuses on “Wastewater.”
Despite progress that has seen clean water access extended to over 90% of the global population, some 660 million people are still without this basic human right. Worse still, around 2.4 billion people lack adequate sanitation facilities, including 946 million who continue to practice open defecation.
Grim as these figures are, they mask widespread inequalities within and among countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa and Oceania. The unsafe management of wastewater poses additional threats to public health and the environment.
This is why OFID places energy-water-food nexus at the heart of its 2016-2025 strategic plan, in the firm conviction that only an integrated, holistic approach can address the challenges across the board, while compromising none.
Over the years, OFID has supported a wide range of operations, from large-scale water storage, treatment and distribution projects to village pumps and school latrines, as well as to schemes for the rationalization of water use in arid regions. As of year-end 2016, OFID’s contribution to the water supply and sanitation sector reached US$1,151m, representing 6% of total commitments.
In 2016, OFID maintained its support, with a US$13.15m public sector loan with Sierra Leone to strengthen water security in three towns in the country. The provision of safe, piped-in water supplies will improve health and living conditions for around half a million people. Read more
Under its grant program, in 2016 OFID supported grassroots projects in Madagascar, Mozambique, Jordan and Lebanon as well as the sponsorship of a report of the Arab Water Council on the State of Water in the Arab Region. The year also saw completion of an OFID grant-supported initiative carried out by UN-Habitat Global Water Operators’ Partnerships Alliance (GWOPA). Works were carried out in nine African countries: Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, Tanzania, Togo and Zambia. Read interview with Dr Walid Mehalaine, Head of OFID's Technical Assistance and Grant Unit, who talks about the initiative.
OFID is pleased to celebrate World Water Day and help place water and sanitation in the global spotlight. OFID is firmly committed to continue working with its partners to help tackle the challenges of water management—within the broader context of the nexus—and bring what it considers a basic human right to millions of under-served people.