The Government of the Netherlands today announced a renewed investment of $50 million for the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC).
The funding will enable WSSCC, the only part of the United Nations devoted solely to the sanitation and hygiene needs of the most vulnerable people around the world, to empower 5 million additional people to access improved sanitation by 2020.
“In 2015, the Netherlands pledged to achieve universal access to water for 30 million people and sanitation for 50 million people by 2030,” said Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Netherlands, in a video shown at Global Citizen’s World on Stage event held in New York City at the NYU Skirball Center. “And today I’m proud to announce that the Government of the Netherlands will be donating 50 million dollars to the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council to foster our joint efforts!”
The announcement was made during Global Citizen’s exclusive night of music, advocacy, and impact with Tom Morello, Kesha, and Paul Simon presenting the inaugural George Harrison Global Citizen Award.
Henk Ovink, the Netherlands’ special envoy for international water affairs, joined Amina J. Mohammed, the Chair of WSSCC and Minister of Environment for the Federal Republic of Nigeria, at the announcement.
“I can assure you that the commitment from the Netherlands will transform the lives of millions of women and girls, the elderly, the disabled, and the most vulnerable,” said Mohammed.
“The Netherlands stands firmly committed to a water-secure world, where every citizen of every nation can access clean drinking water, and where safe sanitation and hygiene is a reality for all,” added Ovink.
2.4 billion people – roughly 40 percent of the world’s population – lack what many take for granted: a toilet. Every day, an estimated 1,500 children die from diarrhoea largely caused by a lack of access to safe water, sanitation, and hygiene — more than AIDS, malaria, and measles combined. Poor sanitation alone may also be responsible for as much as half of the world’s stunting problems, due to diarrhoea and related malnutrition.
Ms. Mohammed said it is important “to hold more global leaders accountable for making visionary commitments to global water and sanitation. This will improve health, grow economies and enhance human dignity.”
In addition to the Netherlands, WSSCC is supported by the Governments of Australia, Finland, Norway, Switzerland and Sweden.