The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has set up a multi-donor fund to help Asian member countries meet a looming water crisis, the Philippines-based lender said Wednesday.
It will support the design and implementation of water resources development and management wt regional, national and community levels, a bank statement said.
The Netherlands made the first contribution of four
million dollars to the cooperation fund for the water sector, which will be administered by the ADB.
Asia faces unprecedented water shortages and pollution unless countries take strong and concerted action. One in three Asians lack easy access to safe drinking water and this situation is getting worse, not better, said Wouter
Lincklaen Arriens, ADB's top water resources specialist.
The bank said water resources in Asia -- where freshwater endowments are among the world's lowest -- were in a critical state.
South Asia, home to over a sixth of the world's population, has the lowest level of water resources per capita, and 30 per cent of Asians do not have a safe drinking water source within 200 metres of the home, it said.