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In The Netherlands we organise WASH Debates on wicked topics facing the sector.

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WASH debate - The Reunion: Are we there yet?

12th Jan 2022

WASH debates
Looking at the progress of the Dutch commitment to SDG 6.

After almost two years, the in-person WASH debates are back. These provide an informal platform for Dutch organisations and professionals working in the international water sector to connect and to debate on the latest developments and trends in the sector.

In the upcoming debate, we will focus on: ''Sustainable Development Goal 6: How is the Netherlands performing against its commitments to the international water goals? And what are the lessons learnt from the first five years of contributing to these goals?'

Date and time: Wednesday 12 January, 17:00-18:30 CET, followed by drinks
Location: Dudok, The Hague
Format: In-person with possibility to follow online (live-streaming, quotes, blog and photos shared on social media)

Register for the event


About this debate

Access to water and sanitation is a precondition to life and a declared human right. Water is vitally important to sustainable development – from health and nutrition to gender equity and economics. But with just nine years left to achieve United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6, the world is largely off-track on its journey to ensure water and sanitation for all by 2030.

Earlier made progress has been largely halted during the Covid-19 pandemic, deteriorating security situations in regions such as the Sahel and the dramatic effects of climate change that are emerging all around us. Data of the UN-Water Integrated Monitoring Initiative for SDG 6 shows that we need to accelerate progress, in some areas up to four times faster, to meet SDG 6 within the next nine years.

In 2016, the Government of the Netherlands set an ambitious target: providing 30 million people with sustainable access to safe water and 50 million people with sustainable access to improved sanitation by 2030. It developed a policy framework not only to make sure these targets would be met in a quantitative sense, but also to provide strategic direction on how to achieve those targets in a sustainable manner. It elaborates on key issues such as social inclusion and equity in the achievement of targets, measures to improve sustainability of services and ensuring financial leverage in order to scale the ambition.

Since then, the Government has been working with many partners and programmes to put that policy into practice. It has developed a number of large programmes with different groups in the Dutch water sector, and targeted specific sub-sectors internationally, such as WaterWorX, the WASH SDG Consortium, the Blue Deal and Finish Mondial. It has also been working with multilateral agencies, such as UNICEF. And there are bilateral programmes in a number of partner countries.

During the UN Water Conference, from 22-24 March 2023, under joint chairpersonship of the Netherlands and Tajikistan, the world will take stock of progress towards SDG 6. We hope that this WASH debate can be a first contribution to that, by reviewing how the Netherlands is doing against its commitment, and what it has been learning? During this debate we will review the extent to which the Netherlands is on track with the commitment.

The debate will focus on the following questions:

  • How is the Netherlands progressing on its commitments towards SDG 6?
  • What lessons have been learnt from the strategies to reach these commitments in the various projects and programmes that the Government of the Netherlands and partners are executing?
  • What are the implications for the Dutch-supported water, sanitation and hygiene programmes in the decade to come?

Agenda and speakers will be announced as more details become available.