UAE-based Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) said it has provided finance worth Dh8 billion ($2.7 billion) towards development of water infrastructure projects across the globe.
A leading national entity for development aid, ADFD has financed 108 water sector projects in 56 countries from its inception in 1971 until December 2018.
The Fund’s interest in water and electricity projects reflects its keenness to support international efforts aimed at achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, directly contributing to Goal Six – Clean Water and Sanitation.
According to an ADFD report, water sector projects account for 12 per cent of its total expenditure.
Advancing the development of other key sectors, such as agriculture, irrigation and energy, these projects have positively impacted millions of people through generating about 9,000 MW of hydroelectric power in total, stated the report released to mark World Water Day.
Countries across the globe celebrate World Water Day, announced by the UN General Assembly in 1992. With more than 660 million people lacking access to reliable water sources, the international community seeks to adopt efficient water management practices that are sustainable in the long term.
ADFD said it had funded the construction of 63 dams and the implementation of 30 drinking water and irrigation networks.
Having contributed to the development and reclamation of vast areas of agricultural land, its strategic water projects have also helped enhance food security in beneficiary countries.
Director-General Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi said: "In line with its mission of driving sustainable development and elevating living standards in developing countries, ADFD views vigorous development of the water sector as a top priority."
"World Water Day presents an ideal opportunity to raise awareness of water-related issues and to renew our commitment to identifying solutions to current and future global water challenges," he stated.
"The water sector is a fundamental pillar of development in terms of employment, national income and self-sufficiency of food resources. An adequate supply of water plays an instrumental role in the success of agricultural projects and sustainable power generation," he added.
As part of its efforts to support sustainable development in key socio-economic sectors, ADFD has funded multiple vital water projects. Notable projects include the Zanzibar rural water project in Tanzania, which seeks to ensure adequate water supplies, providing, through ADFD financing, a reliable source of drinking water for seven villages on two islands.
Another critical project is the Serat Dam in Tunisia, where the ADFD helped build a valley dam with a storage capacity of 21 million cu m of water to irrigate agricultural lands in Ouled Ghanem and Mahjouba areas, enhancing agricultural production within a sizeable geographical area inhabited by a large population.
The project included the construction of the dam, storage and transport facilities, and agricultural roads, in addition to the installation of hydro mechanical equipment as well as irrigation and drainage systems.