The new position paper of the German WASH network and VENRO is a call to politics, civil society and the public to recognise the topic of WASH as a life-saving measure in crises and disasters and as an essential foundation for any sustainable development. The 25 member organisations of the German WASH network also take a self-critical perspective and address deficits in development cooperation and humanitarian aid in the field of sustainability. GTO, which also acts as the secretariat of the German WASH network, has actively participated in the development of the paper.
The position paper is available for download here, German only. Disclaimer: The English version of the position paper is coming soon.
The paper emphasizes the importance of water and sanitation as human rights and shows that WASH is of great relevance for education, health, social and economic development and food supply. It makes concrete proposals for improvements and claims 10 demands on the German government:
- WASH must be given political priority and funding should grow proportionately to the increase in funds for German international cooperation.
- Leave no one behind. Germany must support marginalised and poor population groups with at least half of the WASH funding, measure this contribution and present it transparently.
- The neglected and taboo subjects of hygiene and sanitation must be upgraded. The goal must be to provide as many people with toilets as with drinking water.
- There must be a stronger focus on the sustainability of WASH activities. To achieve this, systemic approaches should be promoted in order to achieve the establishment of long-term local supply systems.
- The importance of WASH for the long-term prevention and control of diseases in the health sector must be recognised and promoted accordingly.
- The German WASH sector must be strengthened by institutionalized exchange among all stakeholders and by promoting their comparative advantages in order to make a more effective contribution.
- To strengthen the issue in global development policy, Germany should support the formation of an intergovernmental WASH committee at the United Nations level
- Although WASH saves lives, the sector is globally underfunded compared to other sectors. Germany should take countermeasures and further strengthen WASH in line with the Federal Foreign Office's strategy for humanitarian aid.
- The complementarity of humanitarian aid and development cooperation must be strengthened by improving coordination, making funding instruments more flexible and promoting a seamless transition.
- The consistent application of humanitarian principles in crises by all actors of German international cooperation must be ensured.