Indonesia Calls for Establishment of Global Water Fund in WWF 2024

Many jurisdictions among developing countries still struggle to fund water and sanitation projects, which in turn becomes a hurdle in fulfilling equal access to clean water.

Dwi Rachmawati

21 Mei 2024 - 18.39
Indonesia Calls for Establishment of Global Water Fund in WWF 2024

Minister of Public Works and Public Housing (PUPR) Basuki Hadimuljono closed the ministerial level meeting at the 10th World Water Forum (WWF) in Nusa Dua, Bali, Tuesday (21/5/2024). Bisnis/Adam Rumansyah

Bisnis, BADUNG – Indonesia has called for the establishment of a global water fund to achieve global water security, citing limited finances as a barrier to resolving water crises in many jurisdictions, particularly developing countries.

Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati underscored equal access to clean water as a fundamental right for people worldwide. However, many governments in developing countries struggle to fund water and sanitation projects.

These infrastructure projects require significant investment and entail high risks in management and maintenance, often making investments in the water and sanitation sector seem less promising.

"Despite requiring substantial investment, the return on investment is less attractive due to poor governance and management," she said at the 10th World Water Forum in Bali.

Sri Mulyani explained that the Indonesian government has committed to increasing spending on water and sanitation infrastructure in the 2024 state budget, including funds and local transfers as incentives. The government has allocated 3.4 percent of the state budget for climate mitigation needs, including water security. However, relying solely on government funds is not enough.

Read Also: President Jokowi Calls for Global Cooperation to Address Water Problems at 10th WWF

The finance minister emphasized the importance of transparent collaboration between the government and the private sector in achieving water security and attracting more investments through appropriate policies.

"The private sector has expressed interest, but realizing collaboration between the government and the private sector in the water sector still requires a lot of effort," she said.

Hence, Sri urged delegates at the 10th World Water Forum to form partnerships between governments, organizations, the private sector, and philanthropic communities working in the sector to achieve global water security.

A number of delegates from member countries of the World Water Forum (WWF) held a ministerial closing meeting in Nusa Dua, Bali, Tuesday (21/5/2024) - Bisnis/Adam Rumansyah

"Thus, funding needs will not solely depend on public funds. We want to encourage all stakeholders to work together to address this critical issue," she said.

According to a report by the National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas), 113 water and sanitation projects worth $9.4 billion have been agreed upon at the 10th World Water Forum as concrete actions. These water projects are spread globally, with diverse funding sources including government budget, grants, bilateral commitments, multilateral commitments, and investments.

The largest funded project is Japan’s capacity development worth $3.6 billion (approximately IDR57.6 trillion) and accessible to all countries. Meanwhile, is set to execute Presidential Instruction No. 1/2024 on the Acceleration of Drinking Water Supply and Domestic Wastewater Management Services, with a state budget allocation of around IDR7 trillion.


World Bank global director for water action Saroj Kumar said the organization has recognized the importance of achieving SDG number 6, which relates to equitable and sustainable water and sanitation provision.

Agreeing with Sri Mulyani, Kumar acknowledged that limited funds pose a challenge for developing countries in addressing water issues. He noted that most developing countries allocate less than 2 percent of their annual budget to water and sanitation needs.

President Joko Widodo officially opened the 10th World Water Forum at the Bali International Convention Center (BICC) Nusa Dua Bali, Monday (20/05/2024). (Photo: Regency Secretariat Public Relations/Rahmat).

However, Kumar highlighted that Indonesia has allocated a larger-than-average portion at 3.4 percent, and encourages governments around the world to do the same. Responding to Indonesia's proposal for a Global Water Fund, the World Bank has begun to open financing guarantees in the water sector. The World Bank assured full support for the water security agenda for countries needing financial backing.

"We are ready to serve you here on behalf of developing countries," he said.

Despite the urgency, the Foreign Ministry’s Multilateral Cooperation Director General Tri Tharyat admitted that the proposed global water fund would not be adopted at the 10th World Water Forum.

Several considerations were taken into account, including the existence of similar funding managed by the United Nations and the current timing not being ideal. He also noted that attendance at the WWF’s high-level panel is lower than at the G20 Summit.

"The process of forming this fund is not procedurally appropriate yet to be formalized at this forum, but there is no harm in Indonesia continuing to advocate for the Global Water Fund until it can be established," Tharyat remarked.

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Editor: Asteria Desi Kartikasari

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