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96

OPEC bulletin 3–4/17

OFID helping to boost

access to potable water

In 1993, the United Nations General Assembly officially designated March 22 as World Water Day,

which is coordinated by UN-Water in collaboration with international governments and partners.

Each year, the event gauges just what progress has been made in the global community’s bid

to alleviate the world water crisis. The Sustainable Development Goals, launched in 2015, include

a target to ensure that everyone has access to safe water by 2030, making water a key issue in

the fight to eradicate extreme poverty.

But even though great strides have been made over the years, the unfortunate fact is that

today UN figures show that around 1.8 billion people globally still use a source of drinking water

that is contaminated.

And as the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) points out in its latest

Quarterly

magazine, the UN also estimates that water scarcity affects more than 40 per cent of the

global population — a figure that is sadly projected to rise.

“Add to this the worrying thought that more than 80 per cent of wastewater resulting

from human activities is discharged into rivers or seas without any treatment and the

scale of the problem is clear,” OFID Information Officer,

Steve Hughes

, observes in the

publication’s commentary.

OFID’s proud mandate has always been to help the world’s poorest countries and

giving them access to essential potable water is an important and continuing priority.

As the

Quarterly

points out: “Access to water, sanitation and hygiene is a human

right.” In this regard, the Vienna-based institution recently signed

agreements that have helped the water resources plight of four

countries — Bolivia, Haiti, Lesotho and Lebanon.

Marking UN World Water Day …