SDC Water News 2020 - Editorial

Dear colleagues

It is with great pleasure that we present edition 43 of the SDC Water News, focusing on water related projects and programmes at the global level. With this, our “Grand Tour around the globe" completes a cycle, after having published issues focusing on Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, the MENA region and the rest of Asia. As usual, the newsletter provides you with short glimpses on selected projects and programmes, along with contacts and links for further reading. We now also included a section on resources, which is only a highlight of recently published documents. For the full range of resources, please refer to the respective site on ShareWeb, and keep up with sector news through our news site.

The past few months have been extraordinary, in many regards. As we have been witnessing across the world, weak water and sanitation systems aggravate the COVID-19 crisis, which in turn imposes extraordinary pressures on already stretched water and sanitation systems. COVID-19 has exposed existing vulnerabilities and inequalities in our world. In a time of global health pandemic, it is even more urgent that resilient water and sanitation systems are accessible and affordable to everyone. The COVID-19 pandemic adds to existing inequalities. It is with this in mind that Switzerland endorsed the recent call to action for water and sanitation.

In addition, conflicts over the use of natural resources are on the increase. Cities and municipalities play a key role in overcoming these challenges. There is continuous rise in demand of water globally whereas the amount of water available remains limited and pollution levels are increasing. This situation is being exacerbated by climate change. Equitable access to water, sanitation and hygiene is also a key factor in public health and an important element in the prevention and control of all infectious diseases including COVID-19. Switzerland is aware of this global issue. On 29 May 2020 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, Switzerland has therefore called for joint efforts to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and the global water crisis, as they all are transboundary, global and have implications on nearly every aspect of the 2030 Agenda.

In this newsletter, you can learn about tangible examples of how SDC addresses these challenges – from the landmark initiative on Blue Peace to cooperate water stewardship in Latin America (SuizAgua) and the support to the World Bank's Global Water Security and Sanitation Partnership or to global networks like SWA and RWSN, just to name a few examples. 

We would like to thank everybody who contributed to this edition of the SDC Water News and wish you a happy reading.

Daniel Maselli, RésEAU Focal Point


Matthias Saladin, Editor RésEAU newsletter