Water for Women and partners commit to collaborative action to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 6 – Water for all by 2030

Posted on Friday March 22, 2019

Bangkok, Thailand - Water is critical to human survival and the foundation for sustainable development. In order for the world to achieve SDG 6 – safely managed water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) for all by 2030, we must work together, collaborate and learn from each other and we must ensure that no one is left behind in achieving this goal. This is the best and only way to ensure safe, accessible and sustainable water for the 2.1 billion people who are still living without it.

Today, as part of World Water Day celebrations, Water for Women again joined with regional organisations UNICEF and Sanitation and Water for All (SWA), World Health Organisation and World Bank following a week of connecting, collaborating and sharing learning on inclusive WASH through two key regional meetings that took place in Bangkok, Thailand. The message from all organisations was clear: SDG6 can only be achieved if we leave no one behind in achieving it.

With the number of people living in water-scarce areas predicted to rise to 5 billion by 2050, achieving SDG6 becomes both more important and more pressing.

‘Water is a finite resource, and one to which access is often determined by where you live, and who you are,’ said Dr Alison Baker, Fund Manager of Water for Women. ‘Currently, major inequalities exist in development outcomes and WASH access. Evidence shows that gendered and socially inclusive approaches to WASH lead to more equal, effective and sustainable outcomes. In our project delivery, leaving no one behind and partnership is crucial to achieving SDG6’ she continued.

Allan McKinnon, Australia’s Ambassador to Thailand, who opened both events on Monday joined us again to celebrate World Water Day and re-affirmed Australia’s commitment to water for all. ‘The Water for Women Fund is a partnership that values collaboration.  This collaboration goes beyond projects within the Fund to Australia’s other partnerships with UNICEF, WHO, the World Bank and others. Our two meetings in Bangkok are an important step towards cementing that collaborative spirit,’ he said.

‘Good water management has to mean equitable access to water’ stated Mr McKinnon, ‘it is clear that building equity into how we manage water, that is, Leaving No One Behind, will stretch our imaginations, our capabilities and our resources… there really is no other solution but to work collaboratively,’ he continued.

This same sentiment was clear when Ms. Karin Hulshof, Regional Director of UNICEF East Asia and Pacific spoke at the event.

As part of proceedings Mr McKinnon announced two key DFAT-funded initiatives: the WHO and Institute of Sustainable Futures – UTS publication: ‘A Guide to Equitable Water Safety Planning’ as well as the announcement of the successful applicants of the Water for Women Fund Research (Type 1) Awards. Research is an important element of Water for Women. The Fund aims to raise the bar in terms of gender and socially inclusive research, analysis, design and program delivery in WASH, and in doing so to lead practice globally.  Having already commenced six (Type 2) research projects as part of the Fund; these newly announced research awards will address key water and WASH knowledge gaps.

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