Washington, DC, US: Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State, US, and Robert Zoellick, President, World Bank, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU). It harnesses their strengths to improve water security in developing countries and reduce tension between nations over shared waters.
From the remote sensing technology of NASA to water conservation technologies being developed by the US Agriculture Department, 18 federal government agencies will contribute their skills to provide reliable, sustainable access to water to meet human needs, support livelihoods and protect ecosystems. Secretary Clinton said, “The water crisis is a health crisis, it is a farming crisis, it is an economic crisis, it is a climate crisis, and increasingly, it is a political crisis. And therefore, we must have an equally comprehensive response.”
The new agreement paves the way for closer collaboration between the World Bank and the US government to support developing countries in managing global water crises such as the lack of safe drinking water and sanitation, diminishing aquifers, drought, flooding and climate change impacts. “We want to combine our expertise to drive high-impact change in people’s lives,” Clinton said.
Zoellick said, “Look at almost any poverty issue – you will find water. A lack of safe water and adequate sanitation is the world’s single largest cause of illness, responsible for two million deaths a year. That’s four people every minute – most of them children. The World Bank Group is helping countries balance competing water demands for agriculture, energy, people, and the environment. The enhanced partnership we are launching today with the United States will give a real boost to this work.