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News Global Sanitation Fund (GSF): First step forward

Work to implement the Global Sanitation Fund (GSF), the first global financing mechanism to increase expenditure on sanitation and hygiene, has begun. Launched on 14 March 2008, after pledges from donors totalling more than US$ 50 million (EUR 32 million), the GSF is now taking its first concrete steps in Nepal, Madagascar and Uganda.

The purpose of the Global Sanitation Fund is to support national efforts to help larger numbers of poor people to attain sustainable access to basic sanitation and to adopt good hygiene practices. Launched by WSSCC, the GSF responds to a major global development challenge: more people lack sanitation than water but fewer agencies and actors work with sanitation. GSF pools funding from different donors, boosts sector spending and means more toilets, better hygiene and improved lives for poor people.

The key initial steps for setting up the GSF in any country are to obtain government approval, identify a coordinating mechanism and describe the objectives and organisation of the GSF in the country. Such scoping work is under way in Nepal, Madagascar and Uganda, and discussions with the governments of Burkina Faso, Senegal and India are in process. Pakistan is likely to become the final country to be part of Round 1 GSF funding.

Jon Lane, Executive Director of WSSCC, stresses that the Global Sanitation Fund is demand-driven and people-centred. "The Global Sanitation Fund will not embark on the construction of kilometres of sewerage pipes and other huge construction projects, since top-down investments in the sanitation sector don’t reach the poorest people. The Global Sanitation Fund will support programmes that have been developed through decision-making processes involving local communities and will concentrate on hygiene education, raising awareness and creating demand."

Donor commitments have so far been made by The Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit

Contact information n/a
News type Inbrief
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Source of information WSSCC
Geographical coverage International
News date 14/08/2008
Working language(s) ENGLISH