As part of his Sustainable Markets Initiative, HRH The Prince of Wales has launched the Resilient Water Accelerator project, which aims to reach 50 million people in water-stressed areas with reliable and sustainable water sources by 2030.
The people benifitted under this project will have access to clean and dependable water services for vital protection against threats like the current Covid-19 pandemic and the devastating impacts of the climate crisis, said a press release issued by WaterAid on Thursday.
The Resilient Water Accelerator, which is being led by international development organisation WaterAid, will bring together key governments (United Kingdom, Bangladesh, Burkina-Faso, Nigeria, the Netherlands, city of Maputo), private sector leaders (Deloitte, Arup, CDC Group), development banks (World Bank), development agencies (United Nations Development Programme, UNICEF, Water.org) and experts (World Resources Institute, International Water Management Institute, Sanitation and Water for All) to ensure that more finance is fast tracked towards providing and protecting communities' vital water services.
The launch of this initiative follows a pledge at the Sustainable Markets Initiative's Roundtable on Water in London, at WaterAid's Water and Climate Summit, to work towards boosting available finance for climate-resilient water programmes, the release said.
Over the last year, the Sustainable Markets Initiatives' Water and Climate Taskforce has been working to turn this pledge into a reality. This Task Force will integrate with broader SMI sustainable agriculture, agroforestry and forestry projects, to complement the efforts of the Water and Climate Finance Initiative Task Force and the critical role water plays.
HRH The Prince of Wales recently hosted a discussion attended by Dr Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank; Brian Moynihan, Chairman and CEO of the Bank of America; Henrietta Fore, Executive Director of UNICEF; Justin Abbott, Global Water Skills Leader at Arup, Sir Graham Wrigley, Chairman of the CDC Group and Betsy Otto, Director of the World Resource Institute's Water Program, amongst others, the release said.
Attendees discussed the critical role that water plays in combatting the overlapping crises of the Covid-19 pandemic and climate change - ensuring for example that people across the world have access to soap and clean water to wash their hands and help stop the spread of the virus and that water services need to withstand the impact of extreme weather events - and agreed that urgent action is needed to secure more finance for water programmes.
During the discussion, HRH The Prince of Wales said, "The Covid-19 pandemic has reinforced the need to ensure access to clean water services around the world. Since the first meeting in March of last year, the Water and Climate Finance Initiative Task Force has worked steadfastly towards achieving this, by boosting climate funding for comprehensive scalable resilient water programmes. I am delighted that the Resilient Water Accelerator has launched, which will work to provide reliable and sustainable water sources in countries that are battling the devastating effects of the climate crisis."
"I look forward to seeing further cross-sector collaboration and I hope that the Task Force continues to foster a diverse range of partners and proposals to find the ambitious solutions that are all too vital," added the Prince.
Local Government and Rural Development Minister Md Tajul Islam said, "Global adaptation action needs more effort given the scale of the devastation being caused by the impacts of climate change. A low carbon future is much appreciated, there will still be numerous people in Bangladesh and around the world whose access to water and sanitation is under threat and for whom even a small investment will have a meaningful impact."
WaterAid's Chief Executive Tim Wainwright said, "Climate change means more floods, more droughts and more severe storms and dramatically increases the risks to communities that already do not know from one day to the next whether they will get enough clean water for their basic needs. This initiative aims to reach 50 million people, in some of the world's most marginalised communities, with reliable and sustainable water services."
The Resilient Water Accelerator will identify 6 locations in Africa and South East Asia, where a new approach can be tested, to address holistic threats on the ground, from pollution of water sources, rising levels of water-stress, exacerbated by dwindling ground-water supplies.
The coalition will work together to show that practical action to build resilience is possible, at a critical year for global climate and health discussions, ensuring that financing water programmes becomes a top priority for governments across the world. The coalition is targeting location finalisation by September 2021, with work on the ground set to begin in January 2022, the release added.