World Water Week 2019 focuses on inclusiveness
More than 4 000 water experts from across the globe gathered from 25-30 August at the World Water Week in Stockholm. The annual appointment on global water issues focused this year on the theme, “Water for Society: Including All.” A third of participants were under the age of 35 giving a strong voice to the young generation. Many sessions focused on water solutions related to challenges such as climate change and food scarcity. The final communiqué called upon governments, institutions and companies to start applying the water-based solutions that already exist – and include everyone in the process. The Swiss Agency for Development and Co-operation and the Economist Intelligence Unit launched the Blue Peace Index, a benchmarking tool for transboundary freshwater basins aimed at promoting peace and highlighting the potential for improved water management, co-operation and investment. African Water Ministers and several NGOs launched a proposal for a Marshall Plan for Water in Africa 2020-30, to guarantee all Africans have clean water and safe sanitation by 2030. The plan foresees total investments worth USD 40 billion per year, to be 50% financed by African governments and consumers, and the other half by donors, banks and private companies, including climate adaptation funds. The OECD participated in several sessions and launched a report: Making Blended Finance Work for Water and Sanitation: Unlocking Commercial Finance for SDG 6. The report offers recommendations on how to scale up innovative blended financing approaches in order to strategically use development financing to mobilise the additional commercial financing needed to fill the current investment gaps.
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