Ireland’s Responses

“We will support activities across the programme to increase access to water and sanitation.”

White Paper on Irish Aid

The Irish government’s development policy through its Irish Aid overseas Official Development Assistance (ODA) programme supports the development of water supply and sanitation in developing countries, “in a manner that conforms to national policies and that facilitates access to these resources by those who are disadvantaged.” Through its bilateral cooperation programme (aid which directly supports the Irish Aid developing country programmes and is part of the overall government ODA), the government of Ireland allocated 2.8% of the total bilateral funding of €597,158,845 (for 2007) – that’s a total spending on water and sanitation of just €16,532,414. With the recent severe budget cuts in overseas spending, Ireland’s commitment in responding to the water and sanitation crisis will be negatively affected.

“So many conferences, so much activity – and so little progress.”

Source: UNDP HDR 2006

There has been a proliferation of events, conferences, meetings, workshops, etc., looking at a variety of issues associated with water and sanitation throughout the world. There are now 23!! UN agencies supporting water and sanitation issues.

The World Water forum is held every three years and claimed by the World Water Council to be the “world’s most important water gathering” of more than 20,000 participants. Previous forums have been held in Morocco (1997), The Netherlands (2000), Japan (2003), Mexico (2006) and Turkey in 2009.

The purpose of the World Water Forum is to provide a platform where:

  • The water and development community can initiate national, regional and global partnerships
  • scientists and citizens can offer new perspectives on pressing water problems
  • politicians and water experts can exchange ideas and develop innovative solutions
  • world leaders sign agreements on major water issues
  • media coverage is generated to help give water the prominence it deserves on the world stage

Source: World Water Council