The Netherlands ready to start worldwide water initiative

The Netherlands, with its excellent reputation in the area of water management and flood protection, is ready to start a worldwide initiative to help countries with their water issues.

Coalition of global players

The proposal to build a coalition of global players that will cooperate to prevent water disasters was announced by the Dutch Minister for Infrastructure and the Environment, Melanie Schultz van Haegen, during the International Water Week in Singapore. The Netherlands already has such a team: the Dutch Risk Reduction Team, a group of water experts that are available on demand to advise governments on urgent water problems. This team should be part of a global effort within the new UN-framework to limit the risk of disasters, which will be established in 2015, Schultz proposed. “The Netherlands have been working with water for over 800 years. In 2014 flooding, water shortages and pollution pose greater challenges than ever worldwide. The Netherlands would like to reach out and help other countries…I feel it is a moral obligation to make our knowledge widely available fast”, Minister Schultz said at a meeting of the United Nations Secretary- Generals’ Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation (UNSGAB).