Strengthening the international focus on sustainable water use

A report entitled 'A Matter of Survival' is on the table.
Launch of the final report of the Global High-Level Panel on Water and Peace in Geneva. © Presence Switzerland FDFA

The SDC is working to ensure that the ‘water goal’ in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is implemented rapidly and that water is afforded greater prominence at the international level. Switzerland's actions are based on the firm belief and its own experience that the sustainable management of water resources is essential to promote social, economic and environmental development and to maintain global peace.

SDC Focus

International efforts have already given rise to major improvements, for example in relation to drinking water and sanitation services. However, the results are still insufficient. At present, 844 million people still lack access to clean water. Furthermore, one-third of the world's population is still living without adequate sanitation facilities.

The SDC is committed to strengthening the implementation of the ‘water goal’ enshrined in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Alongside a group of countries, the SDC is supporting global political dialogue to ensure that international obligations are met and specific activities undertaken that will help achieve this goal. With its many years of experience in water management, Switzerland is making a considerable contribution to identifying comprehensive transboundary solutions. Moreover, the SDC is strengthening the voice of young people in policy dialogue both regionally and globally, for they are the potential water specialists of the future.

Water management is a particularly complex issue and one which the international community is addressing: Switzerland possesses broad expertise in this field. As stretches of two major European rivers, the Rhône and the Rhine, flow through the country, and a number of lakes extend across its borders, Switzerland has long experience in transboundary water management and can assist in developing solutions for other parts of the world.

Background

2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: a stand-alone ‘water goal’

Under the auspices of the SDC, Switzerland worked successfully together with a coalition of other countries to have water included as a stand-alone objective in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Goal 6 covers the protection and restoration of water-related ecosystems as well as access to drinking water, sanitation facilities and hygiene. A further objective is to promote cross-border cooperation between states in order to ensure comprehensive water resources management that involves all users at all levels.

Water and human development

If a reliable supply of drinking water and access to adequate sanitation services are guaranteed, the population is more likely to remain in good health, thus reducing medical costs, while healthier children mean lower school absenteeism rates. Water points located close to human settlements help save precious time – time otherwise devoted to fetching water, a task often assigned to women and children.

Water is also essential to ensuring the livelihoods of people in rural areas, producing food and energy, and driving growth in industry and the services sector.

Furthermore, shortages of water can give rise to tension or even conflicts. 153 states share rivers, groundwater reserves or lakes with one or more neighbouring countries. Rivalries over water therefore have direct repercussions for peace and security. By contrast, commonly agreed, peaceful management fosters peace and stability.

Documents

Current projects

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Production des Connaissances et Appui Institutionnel pour une gestion intégrée des Ressources en Eau au Tchad - ResEau

01.06.2024 - 31.05.2028

Le Tchad subit fortement les effets du changement climatique avec des pluviométries aléatoires. Le sous-sol du Tchad dispose d’un important potentiel en eau. Faute de compétences nationales, ces ressources en eau restent très peu mobilisées. La DDC renforce, à travers ce projet, les compétences et les connaissances nationales pour favoriser une gestion durable de ces ressources et contribue ainsi à la résilience du Tchad face aux changements climatiques.


Provision of CCCM, protection and social cohesion responses to Sudan crisis affected populations in Renk and Manyo Counties, Upper Nile

01.06.2024 - 31.12.2024

To respond to the needs of the growing number of refugees and returnees crossing the border into South Sudan due to the ongoing crisis in the Sudan, both in camp and host community settings. The intervention will improve CCCM, WASH2 and protection in Renk town, in the Transit Center (TC) at Renk and in the Reception Centre (RC) in Joda and Manyo.


Integrated Water Resources Management in Kosovo (IWRM-K)

01.05.2024 - 30.04.2029

Switzerland assists water sector related governments, civil society and private sector stakeholders in Kosovo in the development/implementation of a national integrated and sustainable water resources management framework. Support activities combined with capacity development and awareness building will contribute to enhanced conservation, protection, quality and equitable distribution of water resources. Thus the project also contributes to good governance, reduced risks of internal and transboundary water-related conflicts, the mitigation of climate change impact as well to enhanced the health of the population.


Direct action Chad WASH Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)

01.04.2024 - 31.12.2024

Chad hosts over 565’000 refugees from the recent crisis in Sudan, adding to the 595’000 refugees already residing in the country. Acces to safe drinking water is one of the biggest challenges for the Humanitarian actors. SDC provides material to Médécins sans frontiers. for analysing potential water sources and distributing the drinking water obtained. Two SHA experts will introduce the material during a short mission to Chad.


UNICEF, EMOPS Geneva, Core Contribution 2024-2025

01.01.2024 - 31.12.2025

The Office of Emergency Programmes (EMOPS) ensures that the United Nations Children’s Fund’s (UNICEF) role in complex emergencies is clearly defined, the organization properly equipped and prepared to deliver its mandate to support the needs of children. SDC’s support to EMOPS in Geneva enables UNICEF to lead inter-agency humanitarian coordination, response and standard setting in Water and Sanitation (WASH), Education, Nutrition and Child Protection.


Contr. UNECE Water Protection Single Ph.

01.12.2023 - 31.12.2026

The project will strengthen Uzbekistan in water and sanitation with a focus on protection of water resources. This contribution is designed in the frame of the UNECE led and implemented Assistance and Cooperation Program and shall support Uzbekistan’s accession to and implementation of the Protocol on Water and Health and the Industrial Accidents Convention as part of protecting human health, well-being and the environment through improving water management, the protection of water eco-systems, and reducing water-related diseases.


Safer/Mercy Corps (2023-24)

01.11.2023 - 30.10.2024

Oans un contexte de crise humanitaire aigue, caracterise par des conflits armes et des deplacements de population, SAFER a pour objectif de fournir une assistance d'urgence flexible et coordonnee, contribuant a reduire I'impact immediat d'un choc pour les menages les plus vulnerables au travers d'une reponse multisectorielle en transfert monetaire ainsi que des activites specifiques en Eau, Hygiene et Assainissement d'urgence (EHA), dans les provinces de I'lturi, Nord et Sud Kivu.


VEN:Tierra Viva - Aten. Int. com. indig

15.10.2023 - 31.12.2024

In line with the 2023 Humanitarian Response Plan for Venezuela, Fundación Tierra Viva will provide humanitarian assistance in the sectors of health, nutrition and livelihoods to indigenous communities in the state of Bolivar and Delta Amacuro, with the aim of addressing the emergency nutritional situation of children, pregnant and lactating mothers and adults. As well as the recovery and strengthening of agricultural practices. 


Colombia: MIRE+, Assistance to Victims of Violence

01.10.2023 - 31.03.2025

The humanitarian crisis in Colombia continues despite growing efforts towards peace. Armed groups fighting for territory and valuable natural resources inflict extreme harm on rural and ethnic communities. In line with the Swiss interest to respond to humanitarian crises, SDC remains dedicated to supporting these communities, enhancing their individual and collective resilience. The project integrates humanitarian action with a developmental and peace orientation (nexus).


Humanitarian assistance to people affected by the protracted crisis in Venezuela

01.09.2023 - 31.12.2024

Despite a moderate recovery in some economic indicators during 2022, the Venezuelan economy continues to contract during 2023. Meanwhile, there is no improvement in the structural causes of the humanitarian crisis. As a result, the needs of the most vulnerable are still high. Therefore, Caritas aims to facilitate access on health, nutrition, food security and livelihoods, for vulnerable families in eight states according to the Guidance Note for Venezuela 2022-2024. 


Integrated assistance to the vulnerable population affected by migration in Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru

01.09.2023 - 31.08.2024

The humanitarian situation in Venezuela continues to be critical, as well as the migration crisis of Venezuelans in the region, with more than 7 million Venezuelans abroad. High rates of cross-border mobility are registered with pendular migrants, travellers, returnees and unaccompanied minors. In this project, CISP will provide comprehensive assistance to vulnerable people in Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador and also Peru with a special focus on protection, WASH, health and livelihoods. 


Contribution to the Geneva Water Hub (2023-2027)

01.09.2023 - 31.08.2027

Globally, access to fresh water resources are dwindling due to growing demand, increasing pollution and climate change. The Geneva Water Hub, co-hosted by the University of Geneva and the Graduate Institute, is an international center of competence for transboundary water resources management. Through research, education, advocacy and mediation, the Hub addresses water insecurity in water scarce regions, helps to prevent water conflicts and contributes to peace, stability and sustainable development. 

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