Access to water and sanitation is a universal right

19.11.2015, Chiredzi District, Zimbabwe. Toilet facilities at the Ruware primary school.
Access to water and sanitation is a human right. Schoolchildren washing their hands in front of the toilet facilities at the Ruware primary school in Chiredzi District, Zimbabwe. © Andreas Steiner, SDC

Today, around 844 million people have no access to safe drinking water. The SDC is working to ensure that people have reliable supplies of drinking water and adequate sanitation. Recognised as a human right since 2010, access to drinking water and sanitation are essential to meeting basic human needs.

SDC focus

Water is common property, and access to drinking water and sanitation is a human right. The SDC works to ensure that people have adequate supply of drinking water and access to sanitation and treatment plants enabling them to maintain adequate hygiene. Switzerland has extensive expertise in the field of water that is recognised across the globe and supports a range of activities:

  • applied research and innovation
  • financing to improve access to water and wastewater disposal worldwide
  • developing new approaches to services and new partnerships with the private sector (water stewardship)
  • upscaling of infrastructure programmes. It also provides capacity building and training to ensure that facilities function properly.

The SDC brings the practical experience it has gained to political dialogue between governments, the private sector and civil society in order to promote mutual learning and support the implementation of workable, sustainable solutions.

Background

According to the UN, around 844 million people currently have no access to drinking water. Furthermore, 2.3 billion people live without adequate sanitation facilities and 892 million still practice open defecation. Poor sanitation conditions alone cause 80% of the diseases prevalent in developing countries. Around the world, 1,000 children under the age of five die every day from diarrhoeal diseases as a result of drinking contaminated water. However, in many cases the problem is not due to a shortage of water as such but rather to the absence of national and international funding commitments to provide access to water of suitable quality where it is needed. For that reason, the SDC seeks to cooperate with all stakeholders in developing a system that in the long term will enable everyone to enjoy access to clean drinking water.

Documents

Current projects

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Support to St. Francis Hospital in Ifakara

01.10.2010 - 31.12.2021

SDC plans to support health services and management improvement, and address the role of the hospital as a place for practical training and clinical research. The project would focus primarily on improving health care and look for synergies between St. Francis Hospital, the Ifakara Health Institute and the Tanzanian Training Centre for International Health, and the Swiss institutions that support them (SDC, Novartis Foundation, SwissTPH and Solidarmed). During the entry proposal period, SDC and partners will have an opportunity to explore which organisational option would best serve these objectives. Refurbishment of the pediatric ward will also be undertaken and equipment provided.


Polish-Swiss Research Programme (PSRP)

01.10.2009 - 30.06.2017

Under the Polish Swiss Research Programme, Switzerland contributes to enhancing Polish economic competitiveness by strengthening capacity in research. Swiss and Polish research institutions develop and implement joint research activities in the field of health, environment, ICT, renewable energy sources and nanotechnology.





Renewable Energy Skills Development RESD

01.04.2020 - 31.03.2025

The Renewable Energy Skills Development Project aims at supporting the expansion of Renewable Energy in Indonesia. It will do so by increasing the availability of qualified staff in the labor market for professional design, planning, installation, operation and maintenance of Renewable Energy (RE) power plants.


Modernization of Land Management in Colombia (Swiss Tierras) - Phase II

01.01.2020 - 31.12.2024

In the past, Colombia did not have a strong land management system, thus hindering economic development. With a first phase of support, SECO started to adress this gap. Phase II will now consolidate, further deepen and broaden the support, helping Colombia move further towards a modern land administration system.


Partnership f.Market Implementation Phase II

01.01.2020 - 30.06.2030

The Partnership for Market Implementation (PMI) responds to the increased demand from countries to focus on enabling mitigation policy instruments, including carbon pricing, that would support them in meeting their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) targets as well as to raise the ambition of their climate mitigation policies.

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