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Dutch government renews partnership with IRC in support of the Sustainable Development Goal for water and sanitation

Published on: 18/07/2017

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs contributes 4.8 million euros to fund IRC's programmatic aims.

IRC and DGIS staff celebrate new partnership.

The Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs has confirmed its commitment to IRC and will contribute 4.8 million euros (US$ 5.45 million) to further finance IRC’s programmatic aims over the next five years.

“We are pleased to confirm that DGIS has agreed to continue its support to IRC for another five years. IRC fulfils an instrumental role in achieving the Dutch commitment to provide sustainable access to clean drinking water to 30 million people and sanitation and hygiene to 50 million people during the period 2015-2030. We consider IRC a global leader in supporting governments, organisations and community leaders in realising sustainable WASH services.” Karin Roelofs, Head Water Unit at DGIS.

As a unique Netherlands-based think-and-do-tank, IRC is a recognised thought leader in the global Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector. Over the past five years the Ministry supported IRC’s service delivery approach to ensure sustainable WASH services. In that period IRC developed a suite of tools to assess the sustainability of WASH programmes funded by the Ministry.

The Dutch Government has set itself an ambitious target for 2030, as contained in its WASH Strategy 2016-30. It has committed to delivering (for at least 15 years but ideally indefinitely) sustainable, universal and equitable access to drinking water for 30 million people, and sanitation for 50 million people. IRC is a key partner in helping to achieve this goal.

IRC will use the new funding from the Ministry to support its 14-year Strategic Framework covering the period 2017-30. This framework focuses on the realisation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) related to WASH. Core to IRC’s new strategy is the developing of national and local systems, made up of infrastructure, people, institutions and finance. The activities supported by the Ministry include knowledge management, advocacy, communication and innovation work in its six focus countries: Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Honduras, India and Uganda.

The core of IRC’s contribution to the SDGs takes place through country and district programmes coordinated by national networks or partnership “hubs”. The Ministry’s contribution will specifically support this hub function, which is otherwise difficult or nearly impossible to fund from the market.

Another difficult to fund activity that the Ministry supports is strengthening civil society through its innovative ‘Dialogue and Dissent’ programme. Within this programme, IRC leads the strategic partnership ‘Watershed - empowering citizens’, linking WASH and water resources.

In 2018 IRC celebrates its 50th anniversary. Since its establishment in 1968, the Dutch government has supported IRC, initially as its main funder but increasingly as a strategic partner.