World Water Day: EU and UfM reaffirm commitment to address water scarcity
March 22, 2017
The Mediterranean region is one of the areas in the world most vulnerable to climate change as well as one of the most impacted by human water demand, where more than 180 million people are affected by water poverty and an additional 60 million face water stress to some degree. On World Water Day, the UfM Secretariat emphasises the crucial need to continue enhancing regional cooperation to successfully address this issue of growing concern. The European Union reiterates its commitment, through the 2030Agenda, to achieve access and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all, in particular to the most vulnerable groups.
“The European Union has provided more than 2.2 billion Euro to water and sanitation projects in more than 62 countries worldwide since 2007. In response to the rise in humanitarian needs and forced displacement, the EU is determined to continue supporting people affected by natural and man-made disasters, by providing life-saving access to safe and clean water,” said the EU High Representative Federica Mogherini in a statement issued on the occasion of World and European Water Day.
“The EU will also continue to support sustainable water management through a strategic approach to regional development on the basis of the 2013 Water Diplomacy Council Conclusions, by promoting transboundary cooperation management throughout the world which is crucial for development as well as for stability, resilience, peace and security,” she added.
The Union for the Mediterranean is promoting collaborative work in the definition of a potential UfM water agenda. It is also acting as a platform for cooperation and dialogue through the UfM Water Expert Group, and advancing the implementation of a number of UfM-labelled projects in the water sector.
So far, UfM Member States have approved eight projects in the field of water and the environment representing about €430 million in investment for the region. These projects aim to provide access to water, contribute to the depollution of the Mediterranean while preventing new pollution, reinforce the capacities of civil society and water professionals as well as share knowledge on water issues. These projects