L-R: Paulette Lenert, Luxembourg's Minister of Cooperation and Humanitarian Action; Birgitta Tazelaar, Deputy Director General for International Cooperation of the Kingdom of the Netherlands; Credit: MAEE

Luxembourg and the Netherlands yesterday signed a delegated cooperation agreement for the water and sanitation sector in Niger.

On Tuesday, Paulette Lenert, Luxembourg's Minister of Cooperation and Humanitarian Action, and Birgitta Tazelaar, Deputy Director-General for International Cooperation of the Netherlands, signed the delegated cooperation agreement, which is primarily intended to help aid effectiveness in the relevant sectors. The signature followed the signing of a letter of intent between the Dutch and Luxembourg governments on 6 February 2019. 

Through this new agreement, the Netherlands will contribute €15 million to the Niger water and sanitation sector by 2022 and delegate the management of these funds to the Luxembourg Cooperation, which has had a leading position in this sector since 2016. The Luxembourg Cooperation will thus ensure coordination between the technical and financial partners and the Nigerian authorities, in this case through a common funding mechanism. The Dutch financial contribution is in addition to the Danish and Luxembourgish contributions, which amount to €26 million and €34 million respectively.

It should be noted that 50% of the Nigerian population (some 10.5 million people) do not have access to drinking water and barely 11% have access to sanitation. Moreover, accessibility varies greatly between urban and rural areas. The goal of this delegated co-operation agreement is to contribute directly to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal No. 6: "Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all", in Niger.