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Working towards better access to drinking water

Working towards better access to drinking water

Promoting access to water and improving sanitation in deprived countries has been one of the major objectives of the City of Paris since 2005.

Water and improved sanitation, a priority

Access to drinking water and the improvement of sanitation are among the main UN Millennium Development Goals (MDG). The aim is to reduce by half the number of people who do not have access to these two vital elements by 2015. The City of Paris is committed to helping the UN to achieve this goal.

1 million in 2006

Changes in French law have given municipalities, which manage public water services, increased scope for action. An Act dated 9 February 2005 enables them to carry out international solidarity initiatives in the fields of drinking water and improved sanitation up to a ceiling of 1% of resources allocated to these services. Paris devoted 1 million in 2006 to international development. Through a request for proposals launched to NGOs and migrant associations, the City of Paris supports international solidarity initiatives which strive to increase access to drinking water and to improve sanitation:

- Decentralised cooperation projects with partner cities which enable both the development of these services for all and the improvement of local water management.

- Emergency initiatives are undertaken to provide aid to people who are victims of natural disasters, in particular in cooperation with Eau de Paris.

- A communication policy to raise Parisians' awareness of the issues of water access and sanitation in the world. Target areas have been selected among the most underdeveloped countries, particularly in Sub-Saharan French-speaking Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Water solutions, wells, public health and hygiene policies

Three subsidies have been granted recently:
-A project in Senegal, for the City of Kaolack, to support a public health and hygiene policy in districts and schools (the EAST association leads the project)
- Two projects in Niger, in the district of Kornaka, a rural zone which was recently hit by a food crisis: a double programme for water solutions in villages and pastoral wells (the Eau Vive association leads the projects)
Each initiative is carried out with sustainable development in mind. Implementation always involves partnerships with local authorities, which is a way of ensuring the projects' long-term scope.

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