Aug 29, 2011

New Reports Highlight Opportunities to Improve Water and Sanitation Aid Efficiency in Africa

Information presented at World Water Week reveals water aid in Africa remains underfunded

The EU Water Initiative’s (EUWI) Africa Working Group presented information at the 2011 World Water Week in Stockholm claiming that water and sanitation remain dramatically underfunded across Africa, despite increased aid commitments from European countries.

The policy brief “Improving Aid Effectiveness for Water and Sanitation in Africa” based its findings in three comprehensive reports on the distribution and impact of European aid to African states and offered recommendations to enhance the impact of aid investments.

Africa receives 60% of EU aid in the water sector. Total annual aid disbursements for improved water supply have nearly doubled, increasing from $500 million to $950 million between 2005 and 2009, and EU aid accounts for 59 percent of all development aid for water supply, sanitation and hygiene in sub-Saharan Africa.

The brief also pointed out an uneven distribution of aid between recipient nations, citing that 18 countries receive aid from at least six EU countries, while eight other nations receive aid from only two donors. It also noted that the aid has become increasingly fragmented, with increased numbers of smaller disbursements that can lead to more administration and less performance on the ground.

“Donor nations and organizations must improve the distribution, coordination and efficient use of aid and ensure that more cost-effective disbursements reach fragile states,” said Dick van Ginhoven, the Netherlands’ Directorate-General for International Cooperation and co-chair of the EUWI Africa Working Group. “We must strengthen the linkage between EU water sector aid to African countries and their actual needs.”