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EU Water Projects

Volume 448: debated on Wednesday 5 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will make a statement on the relationship between the EU Water Initiative and the EU Water Fund. (81996)

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.