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Water and sanitation for 3.5 million in Latin America and the Caribbean

Water and Cooperation event in UN headquarters highlighted role of Spanish government with IDB and UNDP support in water and sanitation sector

NEW YORK – The Spanish Cooperation (AECID) through two initiatives, the Water and Sanitation Cooperation Fund (FCAS-Spanish acronym) managed by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and the Millennium Development Goals Achievement Fund (MDG-F) managed by the United Nations Program for Development (UNDP), will provide water and sanitation to 3.5 million people in Latin America and the Caribbean.

This cooperation commitment has been showcased in the event in the United Nations Headquarters, chaired by HM Queen Sofia. Among the participants were: the Secretary General of the United Nations (UN) Ban Ki-moon, UNDP Administrator Helen Clark, Vice President of the IDB Santiago Levy, Spanish Health Minister Ana Mato, and Spanish Secretary-General for Development and Cooperation, Gonzalo Robles.

In addition, three Ministers from the 19 beneficiary countries have attended: Javier Antonio Diaz de Mendoza, Panama's Health Minister; Herman Rosa Chavez, Minister of Environment and Natural Resources of El Salvador; José Antonio Zamora, Minister Natural Resources and Water from Bolivia.

The water and sanitation sector is part of target 10 of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 7, which is to reduce by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation by 2015. This MDG has underlined all activities undertaken by the AECID through its two international funds FCAS and MDG-F.

During the event, speakers have strengthened their commitment to water and sanitation sector as key to poverty reduction. In closing remarks, H.M. Queen Sofía of Spain stressed the importance of contributing to poverty reduction and improving the quality of life of the populations in most need.

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