Pr. AFOUDA said "In the year 2000, policy makers of our countries gathered in New York to set the Millennium Development Goals. More precisions were brought in Johannesburg in 2002, and the water and sanitation target was to "to halve, by the year 2015, the proportion of people who are unable to reach or to afford safe drinking water (as outlined in the Millennium Declaration) and the proportion of people who do not have access to basic sanitation."
As actors of the water sector, we know that we have not been able to achieve all the millennium goals in our area. That's why we are strongly pushing for the United Nations dedicate in September in New York a water Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) specifically in order to take into account the central role of this resource in any sustainable development.
An assessment of global water issues, revealed in 2013 among other things that:
- 70% of all freshwater withdrawals are for food production and yet 870 million people suffer from chronic hunger ;
- by 2050 food demand will increase by 60% and energy by 100% if current trends continue ;
- 770 million people do not have access to improved drinking water sources ;
- 2.5 billion people lack adequate sanitation ;
- 75% of the world´s wastewater flows untreated into the environment ;
- 35 million die prematurely each year from water-related diseases ;
- US$2.5 trillion economic losses from disasters so far this century – 70% relate to floods and droughts ;
- Climate change is causing catastrophic floods and droughts.
The world must act now to prevent the water crisis. Meeting water needs requires both well-documented policies, deep theoretical expertise and appropriate measures. This is why I would like to invite you all here on behalf of your respective organizations and countries in addition to other regional institutions to join the Global Water Partnership and UN-Water in the global campaign for a Water Goal in the post 2015 Agenda. "