Minister of Environment Dr Hussain Hassan partook in the Regional Finance Ministers Meeting (FMM) that took place on Wednesday, along with numerous international counterparts from across the Asia and Pacific Region.
Unlike previous years, due to the ongoing global pandemic, organisers elected to host 2020’s FMM gathering virtually as a safety precaution, whilst also broadcasting the proceedings to a wide audience online.
According to stakeholders in civil society that were present for the meeting, during the discussions, participating ministers touched upon topics such as ways to better utilise existing financial capital as well as means of attracting additional resources for the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector.
The FMM was organised by Sanitation and Water for All (SWA), a global partnership of governments, donors, civil society organisations and other development partners, brought together with the common goal of achieving universal access to clean water and adequate sanitation.
The Asia and the Pacific Regional Meeting was co-convened by UNICEF, World Bank Water Global Practice, and the Asian Development Bank.
“The impact of COVID-19 on economies worldwide shows us that solving WASH issues go beyond the scope of public health”, reads a statement publicised by Water Care Maldives, social entrepreneurship established to aid the achievement of sustainable development goals. “Now, more than ever, finance ministers must seek opportunities to collaborate with their international counterparts, to develop effective financial policies that contribute to lasting solutions.”
Prior to the FMM, in preparation for the ensuing discussions, a meeting was held between civil society organisations (CSOs) and private consultancies, that were deemed relevant to the cause, on November 29, 2020.
During the meeting, representatives from Watercare were joined by the Small Island Geographic Society and Save Maldives Campaign to exchange ideas and thoughts on the need for creating civil society networks and accountability platforms to discuss challenges in achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with a focus on WASH and also protecting the environment.
Acknowledging the timeliness of the issues discussed, considering that countries across the regions have moved to utilize multi-stakeholder networks and collaboration in the identification of priorities in the WASH sector, the collective determined that similar practices in the Maldives may support the development of CSO, for effective use of available financing in addition to the development of strategies and partnerships for obtaining further resources to ensure the achievement of universal access to WASH services in the country by 2030 (SDG6).