The EU Water Initiative (EUWI) is primarily a political rather than a financial initiative with five objectives, as follows:
Reinforce political commitment to action;
Make water governance effective;
Improve water management through multi-stakeholder dialogue and co-ordination;
Support regional co-operation, and
Identify additional financial resources and mechanisms.
The EU Water Fund, formally known as the EU water facility (EUWF), was established, in part, as a response to the fifth objective of the EUWI; namely to identify additional financial resources and mechanisms, but there is no formal link between the two. In contrast to the EUWI, the EUWF is a funding mechanism. The Water Facility has made €500 million available for water and sanitation and aims to leverage additional funds from other sources.
Progress to date has been slow, mainly because of lengthy procurement procedures, but approximately €230 million is currently being committed to co-fund 97 projects, valued overall at €412 million. An initial analysis of these selected proposals by the EUWF has found that by 2010 approximately 10 million people will benefit from access to drinking water and approximately 5 million people will benefit from access to basic sanitation. A second call for proposals has been launched this year and the full €500 million of the water facility will be committed by 2007.