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Water and Sanitation: Joint Action Plan by the Sahelian States and their Partners

At the UN 2023 Water Decade Conference in March 2023, ministers from Sahelian countries and their development partners signed a joint declaration. This declaration reaffirms the need for strong commitments to water and sanitation. An action plan has been drawn up jointly to ensure that this policy statement is implemented by 2024.

The sectoral dialogue on water and sanitation conducted in recent years between the Sahelian states and the members of the Sahel Alliance has culminated in a joint declaration for the UN 2023 Water Decade Conference in New York in March 2023.

The declaration was signed by the ministers responsible for water matters from Mauritania, Niger, Burkina Faso and Chad, and by the following members of the Sahel Alliance: AFD, AfDB, WHO and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.

This declaration reaffirms the need for commitments in favour of water and sanitation, including:

  • Accelerating investment in water and sanitation, given the need for €1 billion per year by 2030;
  • Systematic drinking water supply and sanitation services for schools and health centres as part of intervention programmes;
  • Strengthening the sector’s regulatory bodies;
  • Financial sustainability of services based on inclusive pricing structures;
  • Capacity building for all stakeholders by including dedicated components in investment programmes;
  • Ongoing measurements of the progress made by the sector, based on the monitoring of national indicators and in conjunction with international mechanisms such as the WHO/Unicef Joint Monitoring Programme;
  • Maintaining regular sectoral dialogue between governments and development partners.

Action plan to support sectoral policy reforms

To ensure the operational implementation of this political declaration, an action plan has been drawn up jointly for the year 2024. In particular, it aims to deepen the appropriation of the New York Declaration by the Ministries and technical services of the various States. The aim is also to accelerate dialogue and the exchange of experience between states.

Studies for regional initiatives may also be launched, including:

  • a joint initiative to strengthen regulatory bodies and tools in the sector;
  • pooling feasibility studies in line with the requirements of the various members of the Sahel Alliance;
  • organising a donor round table to update the sector’s specific funding needs and plans;
  • high-level political dialogue to keep the sector at the top of the region’s agenda.

The budget needed to implement this action plan (excluding joint initiatives, operational actions and specific studies) amounts to €167,000 for the 2023-2024 period, half of which is currently being mobilised by AFD and Sanitation and Water for All. The balance to be financed amounts to €84,000.

Implementation of the action plan is intended to continue beyond 2024, at an estimated cost of €200,000 per year.

As a reminder, the members of the Sahel Alliance have chosen to concentrate their efforts in 5 priority sectors of intervention, in line with the development priorities established by the Sahel’s partner countries:

  • Agriculture, rural development and food safety
  • Decentralisation and basic services
  • Education and youth employment
  • Energy
  • Governance

The priority sector of decentralisation and basic services includes a strong component dedicated to access to drinking water and sanitation.

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