Clean Water for People

A United States-Japan Partnership to Provide Safe Water and Sanitation to the World's Poor

Today, nearly one-third of the World's population lives with chronic shortages of water that directly threaten human health, agriculture and economic development. More than 1 billion people lack access to safe drinking water, more than 2 billion adequate sanitation. Some 6,000 children die every day from water related diseases. By 2025, nearly two-thirds of the World's population will experience some form of water-related stress. Appropriately, water is one of the main topics of the World Summit on Sustainable Development and the focus of the Third World Water Forum and the International Ministerial Conference, to be held in Japan next March.

In June 2001, Prime Minister Koizumi and President Bush jointly announced the "Partnership for Security and Prosperity," in which they pledged to expand bilateral cooperation to tackle global challenges. It is within this context and in support of the Johannesburg Commitment that Japan and the United States today launch the "Clean Water for People" initiative - a partnership to improve sustainable management of fresh water resources and accelerate and expand international efforts to achieve the UN Millennium Development Goal of cutting in half by 2015 the proportion of people who are unable to reach or to afford safe drinking water, and similar effort on sanitation.

Japan and the United States will strengthen efforts to tackle this issue in the following ways:

The U.S. will provide more than $970 million over the next three years to improve access to water and sanitation, promote watershed management and proper hygiene practices, and increase the productivity of water. In addition to grant support, the U.S. will provide local currency investment guarantees to encourage private investment in water services. Examples of activities include the "West Africa Water Initiative, i" the "Urban Water Initiative, ii" and the "Clean Water Investment Guarantee iii" program.

Japan has provided more than 40 million people access safe drinking water and sanitation in the past five years. These efforts will continue in the future. Japan's initiative iv aims at improving access to the safe and stable water and sanitary sewage systems. Japan will implement its grant and loan aid as well as technical cooperation for this purpose in close cooperation with local municipalities, NGOs and the business sector.

Japan and the U.S. will strengthen their cooperation and pursue joint or parallel projects wherever possible, aiming at maximizing the efficiency and synergetic effects of their efforts. To facilitate these efforts, the governments will establish a working group to discuss next steps and to formulate concrete proposals towards the Third World Water Forum and the International Ministerial Conference at the Forum. Japan and the United States encourage other governments, international organizations, NGOs and private industries to join as partners in this initiative.

i. The West Africa Water Initiative is an alliance of 10 public and private organizations currently investing in small-scale water supply, sanitation and hygiene, and integrated water resources management activities in rural and peri-urban regions of Mali, Ghana and Niger. The United States will make an effort to either expand this model to other countries in Africa, or replicate this model in impoverished regions throughout Asia.

ii. The Urban Water Initiative focuses on community level water supply, sanitation and hygiene for urban slum dwellers. The United States will engage with slum dwellers' associations, municipalities, private corporations and concerned NGOs to provide both technical assistance and creative financing for water and sanitation investments. The initiative will mobilize at least five-to-one matching funds from international NGOs and private industry, to benefit slum dwellers by expanding affordable water supply and sanitation.

iii. Clean Water Investment Guaranties can help to access the enormous amount of untapped financing for water and sanitation infrastructure in private capital markets. The United States Government's Development Credit Authority (DCA) mobilizes local private sector capital through the issuance of partial guaranties for a wide variety of projects. This guaranty programs will share risk with private investors to support financially viable water and sanitation investments where governments, municipalities and water authorities have created a governance environment encouraging public-private partnerships.

iv. Japan's Initiative consists of three components:

  • In a country or region where water supply coverage is relatively lower, Japan will focus its efforts on sustainable supply of safe drinking water. Japan will also implement model projects on water resource development, including ground water development.
  • In a country or region where water supply coverage is relatively higher, Japan will support capacity building for water resources management through, in particular, establishment of an autonomous committee on water resource management and the creation of model for public participation with woman playing a key role.
  • In the populated urban areas that face low coverage of sewerage systems, Japan will support their development.

Related Information (Koizumi Initiative)
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