World Water Day: How water transforms societies and economies

World Water Day: How water transforms societies and economies

This Tuesday, 22nd March, Aid & International Development Forum (AIDF) will join the United Nations World Water Day, which emphasises the importance of freshwater and sanitation in transforming societies and economies while improving livelihoods. 

Between 1990 and 2015, 2.6 billion people gained access to improved drinking water sources, however 700 million people still do not have access to clean and safe water.

The 2016 United Nations World Water Development Report estimates that some 2 billion people require access to improved sanitation, with girls and women especially disadvantaged. Despite progress, 2.4 billion are still using unimproved sanitation facilities, including 946 million people who are still practicing open defecation. Many developing countries are in water stress hotspots, and likely to be hit hardest by climate change. At the same time, demand for water is soaring, especially in emerging economies where agriculture, industry, and cities are developing at a fast pace. ​

Addressing challenges of access to safe drinking water and sanitation, water quality and safety, as well as examining solutions for water treatment and wastewater management in rural areas and during crisis are the focus of the vital panel discussion on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Innovations & Good Practice at the upcoming AIDF Asia Summit at the UNCC Bangkok, Thailand.

Water and sanitation are crucial for ensuring effective health response during emergency situations. Hear from Dr Anurak Amornpectsathaporn, Director of Bureau of Public Health Emergency Response, Office of the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Public Health, Thailand, who has confirmed to speak at the AIDF Asia Summit.

WASH Partnership & Initiatives will be explored in a roundtable discussion lead by Lalith Dassenaike, Regional Manager & Coordinator GWP Advisory Centre, International Water Management Institute (IWMI) Sri Lanka.

They join water experts from civil society, UN agencies, governments, investors, research institutes and the private sector to provide an updated on Health Programmes for Disease Prevention and Control in South East Asia. Current health threats, regional health programmes and vaccinations, testing, monitoring will be amongst the topics for discussion.

"Moving forward requires action across the field -- by Governments, by civil society and by the private sector. The challenges we face from climate change, water scarcity and the displacement of low-skilled workers are enormous. But promoting high-quality jobs, while preserving the environment and ensuring sustainable water management will help to eradicate poverty, promote growth and craft a future of decent work for all" - Ms Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO on the occasion of World Water Day

Providing adequate drinking water supplies, disease-preventing sanitation facilities, early warning and resilience for water-related disasters remain major challenges. Therefore improved technologies, better research as well as closer collaboration and partnership between various levels of government, aid agencies, UN, investors and private sector are critical.

Hear first-hand from experts at UNESCAP, USAID, Save the Children, UNOPS, IRFC, FHI 360, IRC, UNESCO, IOM, WFP, Habitat for Humanity International, World Vision, ADPC, GIZ, and many more. 

AIDF aims to bring all actors together in one room to tackle these important issues on water security, sanitation and disaster management.

Here’s how you can participate:

Water is vital for more inclusive and sustainable development. We are looking forward to celebrate with you the 23rd World Water Day on Tuesday.

Meet our dedicated partners:


B Medical Systems is the leading global manufacturer and distributor for large‐scale vaccination programs in emerging markets and medical refrigeration equipment. B Medical Systems is launching a series of new products developed specifically for the cold chain of vaccines this year. 


To mark World Water Day and to provide people in need with affordable access to clean water, NRS Relief offers its water buckets and jerry cans as the ideal solution for water storage and distribution for families living in camps. NRS International is a family-run company that develops and manufactures products to the humanitarian aid, public health and development sectors. 


The supply of safe, clean and accessible drinking water in remote locations, often in harsh conditions or after humanitarian disasters, is a global problem. Portsmouth Aviation offers an affordable, practical, rapidly-deployed and effective solution to the purification of brackish water, and water contaminated with bacteria, viruses, nitrates, ammonia, and metals. 

Be part of the humanitarian aid and development community!

Register now to receive AIDF's newsletter with insights into latest trends, innovations and best practice in the humanitarian and development sectors