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International cooperation Switzerland makes a splash with water development projects

A boy washes his hands at a broken water pipe

WHO says 1,000 children under the age of five die every day because they lack access to clean water.


Switzerland has helped eight million people get better access to clean drinking water and efficient irrigation systems for agriculture, says the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).

Presenting its mid-term report on 2017-2020 targets, SDCexternal link also highlighted providing hygienic toilet facilities to three million people in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The government agency has also teamed up with a Swiss start-up incubator in the Middle East, which has helped 650 firms launch water, sanitation and waste projects in the region.

SDC’s work in this area contributed towards the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which includes the requirement to make better use of water resources.

Some 844 million people currently lack access to clean water, SDC stated on Tuesday. According to the World Health Organization, 1,000 children under the age of five die every day because they lack access to clean water and sanitation.

The Swiss government has recently set the international cooperation priorities for the period 2021-2024. This sets out four focus regions: North Africa and the Middle East; sub-Saharan Africa; Central, South and South-East Asia; and Eastern Europe.

International cooperation will prioritise poverty reduction and human security, forge closer links with the private sector and seek international cooperation on migration issues.

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