The Dutch ministers for infrastructure and development aid said that global water-related challenges needed to be addressed more vigorously. They spoke at the UN Water Conference in New York, where they also pledged more financial support to developing countries.
The event, co-hosted by the Netherlands and Tajikistan, was intended to provide a platform for discussing water-related issues. Several EU countries, including France and Italy, are currently struggling with water scarcity and are looking for ways to reuse water in a sustainable way.
“Water problems exist worldwide, and certainly also in our country. […] Water is literally essential to life. That’s why I think it’s good that the conference ends with an action agenda: The time for fine words is over, now the parties themselves have to get to work,” said Dutch Infrastructure Minister Mark Harbers (VVD/Renew Europe).
The conference adopted a “Water Action Plan” containing more than 669 commitments for projects to address water-related challenges.
As part of the commitments made at the conference, the Netherlands has pledged to fund a new initiative on ‘Water at the Heart of Climate Action’ with €50 million.
The initiative aims to provide disaster relief and reduce the risk of water-related disasters in vulnerable communities in Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan and Uganda.
The Netherlands also announced a new initiative called the International Panel for Deltas and Coastal Areas (IPDC), which aims to improve cooperation and knowledge sharing between countries.
“These measures are necessary in the Netherlands, but certainly also internationally,” said Dutch Development Minister Liesje Schreinemacher (VVD/Renew Europe).
“Governments, interest groups and companies have managed to get along well this week,” she said
“Now we have to persevere and support each other so that all initiatives actually lead to better water use,” Schreinemacher continues.