GENEVA, Sept 16 (KUNA) -- A Public forum hosted by Swiss Agency for
Development and Cooperation (SDC) said on Thursday that by 2025, one in two
people will suffer from a lack of fresh water.
"Population growth, uncontrolled urbanisation, migration, and climate
change will place greater demands on the planet's water resources, making
water security one of the most pressing challenges of the 21st century" said
the SDC experts.
"Today, one billion people have no access to drinking water, 2.6 billion
are deprived of basic sanitation. Every day 5,000 children die as a direct
result of a lack of clean water and adequate hygiene facilities," According to
the available Data from the UN organisations and NGO's concerned with this
"Society in general also suffers from the knock-on effects of this
situation, which further perpetuate the vicious circle of poverty. Improved
water access will lead to a better quality of life and better health, mitigate
the risk of conflict, facilitate the access of women to education, raise
disposable income, reduce the time households spend fetching water, and shore
up food security," assured the Swiss experts.
"Water is key to ending poverty", declared the SDC Director-General
Ambassador Martin Dahinden. "We need to intensify our efforts if we are to
mitigate the impending threat of a global water crisis".
In light of ever more complex problems and the looming threat of a global
water crisis, Julia Bucknall from the "Water" department of the World Bank
called for more investment: "Here, bilateral fund donors like Switzerland and
multilateral organisations like the World Bank have a vital role to play".
Switzerland has a very good experience in this field. Between 2003 and
2008, nearly 2 million more people gained access to drinking water and basic
sanitation, and some 150,000 smallholders acquired more efficient irrigation
systems thanks to the joint efforts of the SDC and the Swiss State Secretariat
of Economic Affairs (SECO).
Switzerland has also developed a strong working partnership with the World
Bank and has a permanent seat on its Board of Directors. Over the last 10
years, the WB has financed or improved access to drinking water and sanitation
for over 100 million people living in poor countries. Through their work, the
World Bank (WB) and Switzerland have succeeded in putting sanitation on the
international agenda. (end)
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