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Tale ved vandsporet under P4G

Minister for udviklingssamarbejde, Ulla Tørnæs, tale ved vandsporet under P4G, fredag den 19. oktober 2018

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

Two weeks ago, I visited the Rhino Camp Refugee Settlement in Northern Uganda. I was deeply touched by the men, women and children who generously shared their stories with me. As you can imagine, on many levels, the challenges they face are significant. Clean, accessible water is no exception.

But, mind you, water scarcity and poor water quality extend beyond the refugee settlement. We have seen big cities such as Cape Town and regions like California struggle with water scarcity. In fact, according to the United Nations, more than 2 billion people are living with the risk of reduced access to freshwater resources. By 2050, at least one in four people is likely to live in a country affected by chronic or recurring shortages of fresh water.

We know water challenges pose significant risks to society. Time is ripe to act and to collaborate (even more) across public and private sectors. We must accelerate and scale proven solutions [P4G].

For business, water challenges present an opportunity to play a proactive role and deliver new technological solutions and innovative business models that lead to a sustainable water future for all. While making a reasonable return on investment.

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I want to take us back to Rhino Camp. Despite the distress, I was encouraged and inspired to see how water supply to 11.000 refugees and 7.000 Ugandans was handled by a solar-based system as an alternative to traditional water supply plants. A better solution than water trucking, which is a common – but more expensive and more polluting – solution.

The solar water plant builds on a collaboration between actors from civil society [Danish Refugee Council – who you will hear in a moment] and the private sector [Grundfos], where impact and business go hand in hand. The fact that you can develop profitable business in a humanitarian setting is an eye-opener to many. It illustrates that markets are changing. New opportunities arise.

To me, the Rhino Camp water plant really underlines the rationale for P4G: that we need to work in partnerships to deliver the best solutions. As the old African saying goes. “Alone you can run fast, together we run far”.

Therefore, I am extremely satisfied that P4G has granted funds to international partners such as Danish Refugee Council and Grundfos and local partners to refine and scale a business model based on insights from Rhino Camp

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When we launched the P4G-initiative last year, we held high ambitions. Confident that the potential impact, innovation and inspiration generated by P4G would deliver exponential progress towards the SDGs and the Paris Climate Agreement. Our ambitions remain high.

We have formed a powerful global coalition. The Summit is an important milestone on the journey; our work doesn’t end here – on the contrary. I will follow with great interest, and with high expectations, how current and future P4G partnerships unfold.

Thank you.