To continue the work initiated by the Camdessus Panel (World Panel on Financing Water Infrastructure), the Global Water Partnership, the Secretariat of the 4th World Water Forum and the World Water Council have convened a Task Force on financing water for all.
Formed at the end of 2005 and led by Angel Gurria, this Task Force will concentrate on two major issues:
- Financing water for agriculture: This subject was not covered by the Camdessus Panel, which focused on water supply and sanitation. However, in this new effort, since more than 70% of freshwater use is for agriculture, it is a subject of primary concern that must be addressed;
- New models for financing local authorities and local actions: This was stressed by the Camdessus Panel and important recommendations were made. The objective now is to understand what are the bottlenecks and promote successful and innovative experiences that could be scaled up or replicated via the dissemination of relevant information.
In addition to these two priorities, the Task Force will collect information in order to report on the progress made on water financing issues since Kyoto (March 2003).
First meeting of the Task Force on Financing Water for All
The inaugural meeting of the Task Force was held in Marseilles, France, on November 17-18, 2005.
Task Force members, who are prominent personalities from NGOs, local authorities and financing institutions, discussed a wide range of issues and investigated the experiences and priorities of each of its members and invited guests.
Members agreed that the Task Force would focus on the local level. The work on local issues will be done through case studies, from which lessons learnt will be abstracted and conclusions and recommendations will be drawn. The first output of the Task Force will be a case-based report providing valuable information on progress made and challenges ahead. The report will be presented at the 4th World Water Forum in Mexico in March 2006, while future perspectives for the Task Force will also be defined.
Second meeting of the Task Force
The second meeting of the Task Force has been held in Paris, at the Agence Française de Développement, on February 2-3 2006.
This second meeting focused on the demand side of the financing mechanisms and the matching of demand with supply.
A preparatory meeting was held in Paris on February 1st with representatives of local authorities from Africa. The purpose was to identify difficulties and problems faced by local authorities to meet their financial needs. Key issues and recommendations have been presented to the Task Force.
Task Force Session during the Fourth World Water Forum
The Task Force provided a cross-cutting perspective on Innovative financing mechanisms for local actions for the Forum of Mexico.
On March 17th, a two-hour session was dedicated to the findings of the Task Force on financing water for local governments, financing water for agriculture and progress made concerning innovations in financing mechanisms since the 3rd World Water Forum in Kyoto.
The Task Force presented the status and trends in water financing and reasons behing these trends, examples of innovative financing options for local governments and recommendations to improve the future of financing for the water sector, particularly at the local government level.
The 4th Forum is a milestone in the life of the Task Force. The Task Force members agreed that their work won't stop there...
The session was also the opportunity to disseminate the first report of the Task Force: Enhancing access to finance for local governments - Financing water for agriculture.
More info about the session