Turning the tide: how the EU is using water to save lives and feed the population
Statement by Commissioner Piebalgs to mark the World Water Week 2012 (26 - 31 August): "I want to confirm the EU's strong commitment to making sure that everyone, no matter where they live, has access to clean, safe water and sanitation. We don't start from scratch and our aid has already triggered good results. Over the period 2004-2009, EU aid has provided access to clean drinking water to more than 32 million people and to sanitation to over 9.5 million people across the world.
Thanks to the European Commission, more than 60 countries currently benefit from major water and sanitation projects. Access to water and sanitation has been one of top priorities of the EU and over the last decade, our aid has almost tripled to reach around €2bn over the period 2008-2013.
Yet every minute, three more children die from drinking dirty water - that's 4,000 every day. Half of the hospital beds in developing countries are taken up with people suffering from diseases caused by poor water, sanitation and hygiene. This is simply unacceptable and it's clear that more and faster progress is necessary. We are committed to doing all we can to step up our efforts to create a world where all human beings can drink, bathe and clean with water without fearing a deadly disease from it".