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Leaders Conclude Second Africa Water Week

African leaders concluded the Second Africa Water Week on Friday, with an appeal for “concrete actions to meet the water and sanitation needs in the continent,” Xinhua reports. “The ministers called for more funding by member-countries, and urged the [African Union] to call a meeting of water and finance ministers to forge more cooperation to achieve better financing,” the news service writes (11/14).

“For the sanitation MDG to be achieved in Africa, 45 million people per year would need to gain access to sanitation in the years preceding 2015,” said Clarissa Brocklehurst, of the UNICEF, Inter Press Service reports. “Brocklehurst [also] said that although aid disbursements for water in Africa had increased significantly, the available capacity to utilise this aid needed to catch up, deploring that only a small proportion of aid was directed to basic water and sanitation development,” the news service writes.

“In a discussion on financing water and sanitation infrastructure, Alan Nicol from the World Water Council noted that making a case for prioritising water is not easy, as everyone wants a piece of the finance pie,” IPS writes, adding that “[s]everal agreements were signed concurrently with the conference, including a $67 million dollar grant from the Netherlands to support infrastructure in poor communities in South Africa” (Ackbarally, 11/13).