The FINANCIAL — The World Bank Group and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have committed to work together to unlock at least $1billion in investments in innovative sanitation solutions to help address the urgent challenge of 2.6 billion people around the world living without access to sanitation services.
Announced at the Reinvented Toilet Expo in Beijing, the Urban Sanitation Innovation Partnership aims to speed up the adoption of innovative technologies and approaches so that everyone has access to safely managed and affordable sanitation services.
This new partnership builds on commitments from the World Bank Group and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to ‘Citywide Inclusive Sanitation’, which promotes innovations in urban sanitation delivery through a mix of service delivery solutions – with a focus on poor households. It also leverages the World Bank Group’s work in developing countries to improve policy and investment environments for more and better sanitation infrastructure and technology-driven solutions.
Over the next two years alone, this partnership is expected to help improve the lives of millions of people through access to innovative sanitation services. Currently, 1.6 million people die each year from diseases related to poor sanitation and hygiene. And of the 8.9 percent of deaths of children under five due to diarrhea each year – more than half are caused by poor sanitation.
At the Summit in Beijing, Dr. Kim and Bill Gates highlighted the importance of new and disruptive thinking around sanitation as well as the need to work faster and at scale.
The World Bank Group has been working with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for the past two and a half years to encourage a radical shift in the way urban sanitation challenges are tackled in a rapidly urbanizing world. In the past 25 years, the World Bank Group has committed over $10 billion to sanitation and water services, reaching millions of people in developing countries.