Global Sanitation Fund takes first steps forward

News

Launched on 14 March, shortly after confirmations of contributions from donors totaling more than $50 million, the Global Sanitation Fund (GSF) is taking its first concrete steps in Nepal, Madagascar and Uganda. The GSF is a pooled fund whose purpose is to support national efforts to help poor people attain sustainable access to basic sanitation. To date commitments have been made by The Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

The key initial steps for setting up the GSF in any country are to obtain government approval, identify a Coordinating Mechanism, and develop the scope of work, which describes the objectives and organisation of the GSF in the country.

The scoping work is under way in Nepal, Madagascar and Uganda, and discussions with the governments of Burkina Faso, Senegal and India are in process. The final country likely to be a part of Round 1 GSF funding is Pakistan, which WSSCC representatives will visit in coming months, pending security clearance. Further, the call for expressions of interest from potential Executing Agencies for these countries is scheduled for September - October.

WSSCC’s Executive Director Jon Lane has already encouraged National WASH Coalitions to express their interest in participating in Round 2 GSF funding; selection of those countries will be made by WSSCC’s Steering Committee in March 2009.