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Published on: 07/04/2014

It is a major milestone as developing and donor countries, and international organisations meet to discuss and commit to improved access to sanitation and water for all. Water, sanitation and hygiene deserve the attention of the highest level policymakers around the world. The SWA High Level Meetings are organised to address the issue that nearly 800 million people do not have access to clean drinking water, and over a third of the world’s population lives without adequate sanitation facilities.

Held once every two years, the SWA High Level Meetings bring together ministers of finance, water and sanitation from developing countries; ministers of development cooperation from donor countries such as the United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Switzerland, and the United States; high-level representatives from development banks such as the African Development Bank and the World Bank; and leading sanitation and water organisations. 

As an active member since the SWA launch in 2009, leading water and sanitation organisation IRC has today publicly committed to and wishes to be held accountable for five statements, one of them being to:

“Contribute to driving a global movement, in partnership with local and national govern ments and other organisations, that promotes the delivery of sustainable services to achieve safe water, sanitation and hygiene services for everyone, forever by 2030.”

IRC believes that today’s world water crisis is not just about scarcity or lack of hardware. Systems that should give people access break down, or provide sub-standard services on a massive scale across the world. IRC believes that strengthening the ability of governments to lead water and sanitation services is not only the best route to bring improvements to scale, but the only viable strategy in preparing for a post-aid era.

After the High Level meeting IRC will continue to support its partner countries and other sector players in implementing its commitments. Through its engagement in SWA working groups, IRC actively contributes to lesson learning and sharing among the SWA partners and strengthens the sector’s knowledge base on successful approaches to achieve sustainable service delivery for everyone, forever.

Editor’s Notes

About IRC

IRC is an international think-and-do tank that works with governments, NGOs, businesses and people around the world to find long-term solutions to the global crisis in water, sanitation and hygiene services. At the heart of its mission is the aim to move from short-term interventions to sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene services.  With over 40 years of experience, IRC runs projects in more than 25 countries and large-scale programmes in seven focus countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. It is supported by a team of over 100 staff across the world.
For more information on IRC’s commitment statements, please see the attachment or visit

About Sanitation and Water for All (SWA)

SWA is a global partnership of over 90 developing country governments, donors, civil society organizations and other development partners working together to catalyse political leadership and action, improve accountability and use scarce resources more effectively. Partners work towards a common vision of universal access to safe water and adequate sanitation. SWA is not an implementing organization, nor a funding channel. Recognizing that countries and organizations achieve more by working together, SWA provides a transparent, accountable and results-oriented framework for action based on common values and principles. See more at: 

More information on IRC’s participation in SWA
Erma Uytewaal
T +31 70 304400

Media Contact details IRC
Jenda Terpstra
+31 70 3044062

Media Contact details SWA
David J. Trouba, Senior Communications and Outreach Officer
Water Supply & Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC)
Mobile: +41 79 261 5400 Tel: +41 22 560 81 78


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