OFID participates in 5th IWA Development Congress in Buenos Aires


(left) Faris Hasan, Director of OFID's SPES Dept, delivers a statement on behalf of OFID Director-General Al-Herbish. (right) OFID Delegation with IWA Young Water Professionals.
Photos: AySA

November 13-16, 2017. An OFID delegation participated in the fifth International Water Association (IWA) Development Congress that took place in Buenos Aires, Argentina. OFID, a longstanding sponsor of the IWA, supported the production of the IWA Wastewater Report: The Reuse Opportunity, which is being launched at one of the Congress’ leadership forums.

The forum, entitled Wastewater as a Resource—Managing Wastewater towards Water-Wise Cities: Innovative Solutions for Engagement, Planning and Investment, engaged experts in dialogues on planning and implementation, regulatory incentives, market conditions and institutional arrangements. These dialogues will be shared among water leaders across the globe.

The majority of the world’s wastewater flows back into the environment without being treated or reused. This presents a lost opportunity in a world where an estimated 1.8 billion people still obtain water from unsafe sources, placing them at high risk of developing debilitating waterborne illnesses.

IWA’s report highlights wastewater challenges and reuse opportunities in nine cities, presenting a roadmap for meeting Sustainable Development Goal target 6.3: “By 2030, improve water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping and minimizing release of hazardous chemicals and materials, halving the proportion of untreated wastewater and substantially increasing recycling and safe reuse globally.”

This year’s conference also introduced a new event: a collective keynote address from three young water professionals. OFID was invited to be part of a discussion panel following the keynote.

At the inauguration ceremony, Faris Hasan, Director of OFID's Strategic Planning and Economic Services (SPES) Department, delivered a statement on behalf of OFID Director-General Suleiman J Al-Herbish.

OFID also sponsored participation of 30 delegates from developing countries in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean and emerging Europe.

OFID’s partnership with the IWA dates back to the latter’s second Congress in 2011, which enabled researchers, students and water specialists from developing and the least-developed countries to attend these important events.

The Congress brought together more than 2,000 participants from over 80 countries, including representatives of governments and donor agencies, water and wastewater utilities, researchers, consultants, technology companies, NGOs and other key stakeholders. The three-day program consisted of workshops, technical sessions, exhibition events and a day of field visits.

OFID and the water and sanitation sector

OFID places a special emphasis on projects aimed at improving water, sanitation and wastewater services and promoting the sustainable management of resources in water-stressed countries. The organization continues to prioritize underserved regions, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, where over one-third of the population still lack access to safe and reliable drinking water sources and nearly three-quarters still use unimproved sanitation facilities.

OFID’s direct approvals to the water supply and sanitation sectors in its partner countries amount to nearly US$1.2 billion. Indirect approvals for agriculture and health projects that include a water and sanitation component bring the institution’s total commitments to water-related operations to around 25 percent of its total commitments.

Since inception, OFID has funded a wide range of water and sanitation operations, from large-scale urban water supply and sanitation infrastructure projects to the installation of small water treatment devices in poor rural communities, as well as schemes promoting the rationalization of water use in water-stressed regions and capacity-building initiatives targeting water utility companies.

OFID’s approach also places a strong emphasis on supporting interventions that take into account the integral relationship between water, energy, and food production and use. Additionally, the organization supports the dissemination of best practices and knowledge sharing through the sponsorship of events such as the IWA Development Congresses.

A few examples of OFID’s interventions in the water supply and sanitation sectors include:

    Public sector project loans:

  • US$50 million to Argentina for the Reconquista Water Supply, Phase II
  • US$50 million to Argentina for the Gran Tulum Water Supply
  • US$16 million to Cuba for the Palma Soriano Water Supply & Sanitation System Rehabilitation
  • US$14 million to Lesotho for the Greater Maseru Water Supply
  • US$20 million to Nepal for the Small Towns Water Supply and Sanitation Sector (Phase III)

  • Grants:

  • US$1 million to UN-Habitat Global Water Operators’ Partnerships Alliance to provide in technical assistance for nine African water operators
  • US$450,000 to IWA for the implementation of water safety plans in West Africa
  • US$400,000 to Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor to catalyze improved water and sanitation services in Madagascar and Mozambique
  • US$800,000 to Access to Water to improve water access and create jobs in the Senegal River region
  • US$500,000 to UNICEF to boost water and sanitation access in high-risk areas in Haiti.

More information about OFID’s public sector support to the sector can be found here.


The IWA is a self-governing non-profit organization established in 1999 as a result of the merger of the International Water Supply Association (IWSA) and the International Water Quality Association (IAWQ). IWA’s mission is to serve as a global network for water professionals and to advance standards and best practices in sustainable water management.