Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva is joining other high-level international figures at the World Water Forum in Marseilles. This is one of the most important global gatherings on the topic, where participants discuss the interlinked challenges, problems and policy solutions associated with our planet's water resources.
The Commissioner will address the humanitarian importance of water (access to drinking water, hygiene and sanitation) as well as water-related disasters (such as floods and droughts).
Bad water, sanitation and hygiene conditions and services cause 1.7 million deaths each year; the number of people without access to safe water is 1 billion and is set to double by 2025. Moreover, 70% of the world's population lives in areas which are at risk of drought. Elsewhere the growing frequency and intensity of natural disasters is visible in the number of floods and cyclones having a dramatic impact around the world.
The European Commission is the world's biggest contributor to global humanitarian efforts for better access to water, sanitation and hygiene; it contributes approximately one third of all funding every year. With an extensive network of NGO, UN and Red Cross partners, and together with its dedicated network of 140 field experts, the Commission promotes quality and best practice and works to improve the impact of water-related assistance for those who need it the most.