Global meeting of ministers in Washington to discuss access to water and sanitation

Next week (19 & 20 April 2017) the Sanitation and Water for All (SWA) partnership will gather ministers of Finance and water and sanitation from around the world together in Washington D.C., USA. At the High Level Meetings (HLMs) ministers will discuss how their countries are working to bring clean water, decent toilets and hygiene services to all.

With only 13 years to achieve the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal of universal access to water and sanitation, ministers will have the chance to discuss what obstacles stand in the way and what changes are necessary to ensure that the target is met for everyone, everywhere.The Ministry of Finance for Liberia will be participating. It is expected that one of the four ministries involved in the delivery of WASH will also send a representative.

WaterAid hopes that the HLMs will be a chance for governments to discuss the reforms required to optimise existing funding for water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), and how to attract additional resources. Holding each other accountable will help ensure that all partners are honouring their promises. Having clean water and a decent toilet nearby are essential for human development, leading to better health, education and economic productivity.

Patrick Nimely Cheah, WaterAid Liberia and Sierra Leone Country Director said:

“This is a critical time in the push for universal access and we are calling for all decision makers to meet their commitments and deliver change for the poorest and most marginalised.  There is enough water on earth to meet everyone’s needs, but intense competition for scarce resources, poor management lack of political will and inadequate financing means more than 663 million people in the world are without access to clean water. Almost 2.4 billion people do not have access to a decent toilet they can use, and are often without somewhere to wash their hands.

“The end result is a ‘silent emergency’ causing 315,000 children under five to die every single year, from preventable diarrhoeal diseases spread by dirty water, a lack of sanitation, and poor hygiene.This gathering of ministers from across the world – along with development partners and representatives from civil society, research institutions and the private sector – is a crucial opportunity to catalyse the progress needed to reach everyone with water, sanitation and hygiene by 2030.”

Barbara Frost, Chief Executive of WaterAid said:

“WaterAid is committed to doing everything we can to ensure governments and development partners work together effectively to deliver Goal 6 of the Global Goals – universal access to water, hygiene and sanitation. This is essential for poverty to be eradicated. The Sanitation and Water for All High Level Meetings are a crucial opportunity to take stock and identify what needs to be done.

“Only through political will and drive and a strengthened commitment across governments, the private sector and civil society to work togetherto ensure the building blocks needed for delivery of sustainable services are in place will everyone, everywhere have access toclean water, sanitation and hygiene by 2030.

“We must never underestimate how much can be achieved by governments and development partners working together towards a shared goal.

“We have a chance to change the course of humanity and create a healthier, fairer and more prosperous future for everyone. The next generation is depending on us to meet these challenges head-on and keep the promises we have made.”

The HLMs will focus on how the governments and development partners can work together to bring WASHto the world’s poorest people, promoting four key ways of working, known as Collaborative Behaviours, that have been identified by the SWA partnership as essential to meet the deadline of 2030.

WaterAid is hoping that the Liberian government will take the lead in mapping out a pathway towards universal water and sanitation provision, and put this into action.

WaterAid has been working more than 35 years in the WASH sector in many countries around the world, alongside local partners and communities, to support affordable access to water and sanitation services.

To find out more about WaterAid’s involvement with the SWA please visit: