Water and sanitation: a commitment to the development of Latin America and the Caribbean

King Felipe VI of Spain yesterday presided over the inauguration of Water and Sanitation: a Shared Challenge in Latin America, an event organised by the Spanish Cooperation and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). The opening ceremony was attended by the President of Paraguay, Horacio Cartes; Spanish Minister for Foreign Affairs, José Manuel García-Margallo; the President of the IDB, Luis Alberto Moreno, and Ibero-American Secretary General, Rebeca Grynspan.​ During the event, the achievements of the Cooperation Fund for Water and Sanitation (FCAS) were outlined. The FCAS was set up by the Government of Spain in 2007. Since its inception, it has financed, in collaboration with the IDB, over 66 programmes in rural and suburban areas of 19 countries, with total investment of €1,276 million, of which €790 million comes from Spanish donations. Thanks to this Spanish initiative, 1,150 schools will have drinking water and sanitation services; over 640,000 people will be trained in hygiene and environmental education; over 11,000 professionals from the sector will receive training, and 800 water committees will incorporate women into the water and sanitation decision-making structures of their communities. The Fund is expected to benefit a total of three million people in Latin America and the Caribbean.