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Climate Change: Water Projects

Volume 672: debated on Wednesday 4 March 2020

5. What recent assessment her Department has made of the effect of water projects in tackling climate change. (901095)

More than 700 million people do not have enough water every day, and climate change will make it worse unless more action is taken. DFID is supporting poorer countries to understand how climate change will affect water availability and to manage their water resources sustainably. DFID spends about £300 million a year on water, which since 2015 has given over 51 million people across 30 countries clean water or a decent toilet.

Some 800 million people across the world still do not have access to clean water, and clean water is the first line of defence in coping with climate change. We are currently seeing a need for handwashing, for which people need clean water, but the most climate-vulnerable countries across the world have some of the lowest levels of clean water. Only 5% of global climate finance is spent on helping countries adapt to climate change. Will the Minister increase funding for water, sanitation and hygiene projects to tackle the impact of climate change and adapt—

By 2030, 40% of the world’s population will be facing water scarcity unless action is taken, and we in DFID take that very seriously. This year is critical for galvanising global ambition on climate change, which is why COP26 is so important. DFID programmes cover many crucial aspects of water security, but there is much more to do to avert the global water crisis.