Initiated in 1993 by the General Assembly of the United Nations, the World Water Day is celebrated every year on 22nd March. The objective of this event is to raise public awareness on water issues and to draw attention of governments and private sector on the importance of water. In front of climate change threats, particularly on water resources, global initiatives on water and climate, such as the Paris Pact for Water and Climate, the Megacity Alliance for Water and the climate, the incubator platform “100 projects for water and climate in Africa”, are generating a strong mobilization.
This platform, created during COP22 to consolidate projects and facilitate financing, has been highlighted by France’s One Planet Summit last December 12th and is part of the 12 commitments made on this occasion (“Protecting land and water resources against the effects of climate change”).
France has put water access issues at the heart of its development aid activities, most often in consultation with the best-performing French companies in this area of water supply and sanitation.
Franco-Pakistani cooperation in water sector in Faisalabad has been running successfully for six years, meeting thus the priorities of the federal government and the province of Punjab. More than 30 million Euros were spent, as part of an intergovernmental financial protocol signed at the end of 2010, at phase-1 of a project of extension of water resources in Faisalabad. This contract, which has been implemented by French companies Artélia and Vinci Grands Projets, is currently being finalized. The continuation of this project is under study.
A French funding, approved in 2017, of almost one million Euros will furthermore aim to set up a training program for the staff of the public agencies of water sector for the purpose of capacity building.
Pakistan’s vulnerability to climate change, particularly desertification and depletion of water resources, in the context of population growth and accelerated urbanization, constitutes a major challenge. France intends to continue and deepen its cooperation with Pakistan to provide its expertise and know-how for a better water management in the interest of an increasing number of citizens.