Welcome address delivered at OFID-IWA joint launch of Wastewater: The reuse opportunity

27.02.2018 | Vienna, Austria

Welcome address by OFID Director-General Suleiman J Al-Herbish at the OFID-IWA joint launch of Wastewater: The reuse opportunity on February 27, 2018, Vienna, Austria.

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen:
Welcome and thank you for joining us at OFID’s Headquarters for the launch of an important report: Wastewater: The reuse opportunity.

It has been produced by the International Water Association in partnership with OFID

The subject of clean water and sanitation as manifested in the 2030 Development Agenda under SDG6 has a high priority in OFID’s Corporate Strategy for 2016-2025. It is a part of the energy-water-food nexus theme in that strategy, to which OFID dedicates 75% of its resources.

This report presents a roadmap for change and identifies the priorities for – as well as the benefits of – meeting the Sustainable Development Goal target 6.3 of “halving the proportion of untreated wastewater and substantially increasing recycling and safe reuse” by 2030.

It shows that future challenges will be even more acute and that the need for change is urgent.

The report highlights both the global wastewater challenge, and the reuse opportunity in eight cities in low- and middle-income countries.

It is a useful tool for policy makers, regulators and utilities providers in developing countries; particularly those located in water stressed regions, such as some OFID Member Countries, which are now confronted with rapid and largely unplanned urbanization.

I would like to congratulate IWA for this effort which we hope will contribute to a better understanding of the enormous potential of water reuse.

Together with IWA, OFID is working on other important initiatives such as an ongoing project to help African water utilities become more resilient to climate change. This initiative will be put into action with the signing of OFID’s grant to IWA today has long been committed to supporting sustainable development across the water and sanitation sector.

By the end of January 2018, OFID’s total approved commitments stood at more than US$22 billion.

Over 20 percent of this amount has been extended in support of water-related operations1 aimed at:

  • providing enhanced, equitable and sustainable access to safe drinking water and improved sanitation services;
  • reducing the incidence of water borne diseases;
  • improving water and waste management systems;
  • improving food security through the promotion of sustainable irrigation schemes and / or the restoration of agricultural land.

These operations range from large-scale urban water supply and sanitation infrastructure projects to the provision of decentralized drinking water and sanitation solutions for poor rural communities.

OFID has also financed projects aimed at promoting sustainable water management practices in water stressed regions, and capacity-building initiatives targeting water utility companies.

As water and sanitation-related development challenges rank high on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, OFID will continue to support global, regional and national development efforts aimed at addressing these issues.

We will focus on improving water, sanitation and wastewater service delivery in poor urban and rural areas, as well as promoting the sustainable management of water resources in water stressed partner countries.

OFID will also continue to support initiatives aimed at sharing best practice and experiences, and building effective partnerships in line with SDG 17, to address present and future development challenges.

Our partnership with the IWA – and the launch of this report – is a good example of how working in partnership can help us address complex global challenges.

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, I wish you all a productive day.

1Direct approvals to the water and sanitation sectors amount to nearly US$1.2 billion or 10% of total OFID public sector commitments. However if we include agriculture and health projects that have a water and sanitation component, this brings the institution’s total commitments to water-related operations to around 25 percent of its total commitments.