The Netherlands has had an intimate relationship with water for centuries. The fact is that large parts of the country are below sea level and if it didn’t focus on water research and technology the country would submerge. As a result of this relationship, the Netherlands is one of the most sophisticated countries when it comes to living and working with water, and solving the challenges that arise from it. This year, the country received that acknowledgement from the World Bank.
During this year’s World Bank annual meetings the Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Lilianne Ploumen, and World Bank Group President, Jim Yong Kim, signed a Memorandum of Understanding to this end in Washington, D.C.
“Water is a Dutch policy priority,” said Ms. Ploumen. “This initiative confirms that the Netherlands has what it takes to successfully tackle the growing global challenges. It is a great opportunity for our country – together with Dutch businesses and knowledge institutions – to enhance its role as a global pioneer.”
One element of the partnership is a contribution of $50 million to the World Bank Global Water Practice to enhance the knowledge and understanding of water related issues. Dutch experience and expertise will be used to further improve the current World Bank water portfolio of $21 billion, as well as new projects amounting to 4 to 5 billion annually between the years 2015-2019.
President Kim of the World Bank underlines this: The Netherlands has a unique relationship with water, and as a result, we have found them to be visionary partners. They have the experience to frame the right challenges, and the expertise to advise on real solutions.”
By contributing and being closely involved in the Global Water Practice we hope to get Dutch companies involved in the education and development of water technologies worldwide. As Ms. Ploumen noted “This unique cooperation with the World Bank Group means we can get more out of the available capital. First and foremost, that works to the advantage of those directly affected, but it also benefits our own water sector, allowing it to be involved both in the bank and in projects on the ground.”
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