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Eu Water Initiative

Volume 405: debated on Friday 16 May 2003

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To ask the Minister of State for International Development if he will make a statement on the EU water initiative, launched at the World Water Forum, in Kyoto in March 2003 and the UK's contribution to the EU initiative. [113608]

The EU 'Water for Life' Initiative was launched at the World Summit in Johannesburg in 2002 to secure greater co-ordination between EU member states and developing countries in developing water management and water use arrangements. The aim is to help make progress towards the Millennium Development Goal of halving by 2015 the proportion of people without access to safe water and the equivalent target agreed for sanitation at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development held in Johannesburg.The potential outcomes of the initiative are: greater political commitment to action on water and sanitation; better water governance arrangements, including stronger partnerships between public and private sectors; development of regional and sub-regional co-operation on water management; and development of additional innovative funding mechanisms. The initiative operates through a framework of working groups on issues, and has regional components in Africa, Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, Central Asia, the Mediterranean and Latin America.The UK Government contributes through leadership of the Finance Component and membership of several other working groups including water and sanitation. We continue to support the EU Water Initiative and are working with EU member states to ensure that it moves from discussion to action on the ground, in order to deliver the Millennium Development Goal for water, sanitation and environmental sustainability.