Connecting Waterpeople

You are here

Latin American, Caribbean finance ministers target $372B water & sanitation investment

  • Latin American, Caribbean finance ministers target $372B water & sanitation investment

About the entity

UNICEF works in 190 countries and territories to save children’s lives, to defend their rights, and to help them fulfil their potential, from early childhood through adolescence. And we never give up.

Finance ministers from across Latin America and the Caribbean convened today in Washington, D.C., to discuss mobilizing US$372 billion over the next five years to combat the region's water and sanitation crisis.

The meeting, which gathered close to 100 ministers and development partners, was hosted by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) on the sidelines of the World Bank Spring Meetings. It was co-convened by UNICEF and the Sanitation and Water for All global partnership (SWA).

Climate change and increasingly frequent extreme weather events pose a threat to water and sanitation in the region, where over 450 million people lack adequate sanitation and almost 200 million lack continuous water services.

Highlighting the economic rationale behind investments in water and sanitation, the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) estimates that an annual investment of 1.3 per cent of the regional GDP until 2030 could universalize access to these essential services. This investment is projected to create up to 3.4 million green jobs each year, demonstrating the potential for water and sanitation improvements to spur economic growth and environmental sustainability.

Water and sanitation are human rights and they are also catalysts for economic development, improved public health, education and job creation

Finance ministers noted the meeting comes at a critical time for the region, which faces debt equating to 117 per cent of its GDP. Discussions centered on finance and policy strategies such as increasing public finance, leveraging the role of development banks and attracting private capital. Also addressed was the importance of climate finance, reducing energy consumption, and implementing both mitigation and adaptation strategies to support the sector.

Securing clean water and sanitation is also crucial for protecting the health and well-being of children and families. It not only establishes the groundwork for a thriving generation but also holds significant importance in shaping a more promising future for the region.

Catarina de Albuquerque, CEO of SWA: “We need to see a 16-fold increase in current rates of progress for water and a 7-fold increase for sanitation in Latin America and the Caribbean. Those numbers sound daunting but with ambitious and bold leadership, particularly when it comes from the top – from Heads of State and members of national governments – we know change is possible. Water and sanitation are human rights and they are also catalysts for economic development, improved public health, education and job creation.”

Catherine Russell, Executive Director of UNICEF: “It is critical that all governments designate safe water, sanitation and hygiene as essential public services. I urge Government Ministers in Latin America and the Caribbean to prioritize water, sanitation and hygiene in their national budgets and development plans. Allocating adequate resources to water, sanitation and hygiene lays the groundwork for a more resilient, equitable, and prosperous future for children and their families.”

Subscribe to our newsletter

Topics of interest

The data provided will be treated by iAgua Conocimiento, SL for the purpose of sending emails with updated information and occasionally on products and / or services of interest. For this we need you to check the following box to grant your consent. Remember that at any time you can exercise your rights of access, rectification and elimination of this data. You can consult all the additional and detailed information about Data Protection.

Featured news