April 13. 2024. 5:17

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Dutch ministers pledge financial support for developing countries

The Netherlands calls for global water-related challenges to be addressed, Infrastructure Minister Mark Habers and Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Minister Liesje Schreinemacher said at the UN Water Conference in New York, where they pledged financial support to developing countries.

Co-hosted by the Netherlands and Tajikistan, the event aimed to provide a platform to discuss water-related issues. Several EU countries, including France and Italy, currently grapple with water shortages and are looking into ways to reuse water sustainably.

“Problems with water exist worldwide, but certainly in our country too. […] Water is literally crucial to life. That is why I like the fact that the conference will end with an action agenda: the time for fine words is over, now the parties themselves have to get to work!”, said Habers.

The conference concluded with the publication of the ‘Water Action Agenda’, which contains more than 669 commitments to projects tackling water-related challenges.

As part of the commitments made during the conference, the Netherlands vowed to finance the new initiative “Water at the heart of climate action” with €50 million.

The initiative is aimed at providing disaster relief and mitigating the risk of water-related disasters in vulnerable communities in Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan and Uganda. The country also announced a new initiative called International Panel for Deltas and Coastal Areas (IPDC), which aims to increase cooperation and knowledge exchange on water-related issues between countries.

“These actions are needed in the Netherlands, but certainly also internationally. It is very good that the theme of water has resonated with so many countries. Governments, interest groups and companies have managed to find each other well this week. It is now a matter of persevering and keeping each other focused so that all initiatives really do lead to better water use,” said Schreinemacher. (Benedikt Stöckl | EURACTIV.com)