The Netherlands and EIB scale up support for water and sanitation projects in developing countries
The Dutch government has agreed to provide EUR 25 million of new support for the Water Sector Fund managed by the European Investment Bank (EIB). On 22 March, Dutch Special Envoy for International Water Affairs, Henk Ovink, and EIB Vice President Ambroise Fayolle confirmed the strengthened cooperation at the World Water Forum in Dakar.
The replenishment will enable the EIB to make water projects more sustainable, improve climate resilience of infrastructure and help mobilise additional funding from other financiers or investors. Next to that, EIB confirmed an extended scope of the Water Sector Fund. The extended scope will enhance the impact of new water investment in developing countries by the European Investment Bank.
“Safe water and sanitation is essential for a healthy and dignified life and economic and social development. Sharing knowledge, experience and innovation is crucial to increase sustainable access to safe water, to protect people and infrastructure from flooding, and to address water scarcity. The Water Sector Fund combines the unique commitment of the Netherlands to address global water challenges and the extensive experience of the European Investment Bank investing in water worldwide. The expanded Water Sector Fund will enable us to make water and sanitation projects more sustainable and inclusive and help mobilise additional funding from other financiers or investors.” said Henk Ovink, Special Envoy for International Water Affairs of the Netherlands.
“Investing in safe water and sanitation is investing in a better future for people and our planet. The Water Sector Fund has shown how technical expertise can enhance water investment to increase access to water in conflict zones, regions impacted by drought and fragile coastal communities. The European Investment Bank welcomes the EUR 25 million backing by the Dutch government to scale up the Water Sector Fund that will increase the impact of water investment to benefit fragile regions in the years ahead.” said Ambroise Fayolle, European Investment Bank Vice-President responsible for development and climate action.
Supporting water projects around the world
The Water Sector Fund was established by the Government of the Netherlands and the European Investment Bank in 2017 to support implementation of water and sanitation projects in low and lower-middle income countries.
Since its creation the Water Sector Fund has provided technical assistance for projects to increase water supply, improve sanitation and strengthen the resilience of water infrastructure to a changing climate.
The Water Sector Fund will now also benefit from an extended scope by using financial instruments such as guarantees to mobilise private sector investments for SDG 6.
Strengthening water investment across Africa
The Water Sector Fund has supported water investment across Africa, including investment to improve access to drinking water in Niger, using solar power to supply water in Malawi and to better protect coastal communities in Sao Tome and Principe.
Over the last decade the EIB has provided EUR 32 billion for long-term water investment around the world.