People-centred economic recovery and resilience will be at the heart of the second African Union/European Union Foreign Affairs Ministerial Meeting to be held on 26 October in Kigali.
WaterAid believes strengthening access to water, sanitation and hygiene is critical for sustainable and inclusive economic recovery and to build communities’ resilience in the face of the climate and health crises both Europe and Africa are going through.
WaterAid calls on African and European leaders to seize the opportunity of the Ministerial meeting and the upcoming summit, planned for February 2022, to promote a transformative shift towards healthier, more sustainable and equitable economies and societies.
To be prepared to address the next pandemic, but also all the major health threats that currently undermine Africa’s development – including antimicrobial resistance, WaterAid believes that strengthening the provision of essential services like water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), especially in public places like healthcare facilities, schools and markets, is a best buy approach.
As recently demonstrated by WaterAid ‘Mission critical’ report1, every US$1 spent on ensuring WASH infrastructure is resilient to flooding could avoid at least US$62 in flood restoration costs as well as preventing life-threatening contamination of water sources. Access to water, sanitation and hygiene is essential to help communities to withstand emergencies and adapt to the changing climate, while enabling them to meet their basic needs.
Olutayo Bankole-Bolawole, WaterAid East Africa Regional Director, said:
“We urge African and European Foreign Affairs Ministers to support investments in key services such as clean water, improved sanitation and proper hygiene, to strengthen resilience to climate and health threats and progress towards a sustainable economic recovery”.