Water and sanitation security – what does GWSP’s annual report say?

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The Global Water Security and Sanitation Partnership (GWPS) has released its annual report on its activities. It focuses on the need to help countries affected by instability implement solutions to increase water security and improve sanitation. Thanks to the fund’s donors, the situation of several million people in more than a dozen countries around the world has been improved to date. Nevertheless, the main conclusion of the report is not optimistic. The GWPS makes clear what needs to be done to achieve the UN’s sixth Sustainable Development Goal. Will it be possible? Developments will depend mainly on future decisions of the international community.

Global Partnership for Water and Sanitation Security – financial and development support for fragile regions

The Global Water Security and Sanitation Partnership is a trust fund administered by the World Bank. It was established in 2017. to support countries facing the difficulties and challenges posed by the need to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly Goal 6, access to water and sanitation.

The main activities of the GWPS consist of:

  • Supporting countries in implementing policies and legal frameworks that contribute to the application of sustainable development principles in water resources management and service delivery;
  • Implementing infrastructure investments to support water sustainability;
  • Introducing investment programs to increase funding opportunities.

GWSP also provides innovation consulting and technical assistance at the national level, using World Bank financial instruments.

Wodne Sprawy 26 2023 1 1
Water and sanitation security - what does GWSP's annual report say? 1

GWSP annual report – highlights

The main conclusion of this year’s GWSP report is that the world is not on track to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, and water security is under severe threat. According to published data, achieving the sixth Sustainable Development Goal by 2030 would require a six-fold increase in investment compared to current levels (current investment requirements in the water sector are $1.37 trillion). With millions of people at risk from the effects of the water crisis, GWPS stresses the need to accelerate action.

The main areas of GWSP activities in 2023 listed in the report are:

  1. Supporting the World Bank in fulfilling one of its strategic priorities of addressing fragility, conflict and violence. In 2023, GWSP supported the water sector in 18 affected countries, resulting in 3.45 million people gaining access to water and improving sanitation for 2.88 million.
  2. Supporting efforts to improve access to water services for marginalized people, including supporting social inclusion and equity that contribute to increased accountability and engagement. An example is a project in Georgia that provides compensatory grants to female landowners to cover the cost of irrigation technology, while giving them the option to choose their preferred method.
  3. Actions to increase resilience to climate change including helping national governments understand the issues and challenges, and presenting solutions that will improve water security. These activities include both the creation of reports and analysis on, among other things. The impact of water-related risks on economic growth, as well as the implementation of programs aimed at, among other things. Reducing flood risk or better predicting and selecting pertinent solutions (modeling of water resources and environmental processes).
  4. Providing knowledge that influences decision-making processes and national policies.

Water security at high risk

The 2023 GWPS supported water security not only by conducting activities to improve universal access to water and sanitation. The interest also included communication between the water, climate and economic sectors, as well as work to increase private sector participation in the water area and educational activities. The report says that 2023 was a landmark year. In what respect? The world has clearly recognized that water security is at risk and that decisive action is needed to address the escalating crisis. At the same time, the authors of the report warn that further neglect in this area could have serious consequences for humanity in the form of migration problems or armed conflicts.

Floods and droughts resulting from climate change, which have been occurring with increasing frequency in various parts of the world recently, have strongly influenced the consciousness of both policymakers and the public. This raises real hope for increased efficiency in future operations.

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