ニュースレター

2020年06月17日

ニュースレター

【JWF News Vol. 188】JWF Fund 2020 will be open for applications!

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【JWF News Vol. 188】JWF Fund 2020 will be open for applications!
17 June 2020

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◇ Contents ◇

・Forward Transforming Crisis into Opportunity: Reviewing our Way of Life

・Announcement from the Japan Water Forum
- JWF Fund 2020 will be open for applications!
- Mission UCHIMIZU 2020 will enrich a New Normal in the post-COVID-19 world

・Report from the Japan Water Forum
- JWF Fund 2019: Completed report of the project in South Sudan

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・Foreword Transforming Crisis into Opportunity: Reviewing our Way of Life
By Mr. Yoshinori IMAI, Vice President of the Japan Water Forum

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Amid the COVID-19 pandemic now sweeping the world, I am deeply preoccupied with the term “human security”. The concept was proposed around the turn of the 21st century by the late Ogata Sadako, UN High Commissioner for Refugees from 1991 to 2000. Mrs. Ogata, led the world in refugee assistance works, witnessed the misery of refugees who were forced to leave their home countries due to conflicts and poverty. She insisted that the safety of every global citizen could not be ensured only by the efforts of nations acting on their own.
It was the then Prime Minister of Japan and current president of the Japan Water Forum Yoshiro Mori who declared the issue a universal challenge and took it up as an agenda item of the G8 Kyushu-Okinawa Summit in 2000. In his speech at the UN Millennium Summit that autumn, he called on the global community to become aware of the importance of mainstreaming the issue of human security, referring to the problem of infectious diseases, along with conflicts, poverty and environmental devastation.

Twenty years have passed since then, and there is no end to conflicts and growing economic disparity. Moreover, we are suddenly faced with the COVID-19 pandemic. Unlike past ones, this pandemic started in developed countries where a prosperous and secure life is supposed to be ensured and spread into developing countries. The coronavirus crossed national borders and the Pacific Ocean, rapidly reaching all corners of the world. Causing numerous deaths and disrupting daily life, it has driven the global economy and industries to the brink of collapse. Nevertheless, many countries are caught in a trap of “Me First”, an egoistic and abusive attitude, instead of making concerted efforts to address the crisis. The pandemic spread like wildfire from the Asia-Pacific region to developing countries in the Middle East, Africa and South America. The predicament of mankind has become graver.

These days I often see people wearing a round badge with all the colors of the rainbow in the lapels of their jackets. It is designed to symbolize the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We can see the bright blue stripe on the circle, which symbolizes the Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation.
The badge is a symbol of the SDGs. However, we can’t make progress on the SDGs just by proudly wearing the badge. It depends on how serious each of us is about becoming involved in achieving the 17 goals. In business circles, it is proposed that new investment criteria should be decided depending on how deeply a company is involved in issues related to ESG (environment, society and governance). I feel uneasy about the current situation where the SDGs and ESG may become secondary in the face of the pandemic and economic crises. We must reconsider their significance so that they don’t end up as empty slogans.

No expert believes that this outbreak of COVID-19 will be the last; it is just the first wave of the virus. From now on, various new viruses will emerge one after another, and tragedies and crises will continue. What is essential for us whenever this happens is good hand-washing practices, even in advanced countries with hygienic environments and advanced medical systems. In other words, it is the most basic preventive measure for people living in both rich and poor countries to supply safe water.
When we look at the outside world, we realize that people who have no access to safe water and soap for hand-washing account for 40% of the global population, that is 3 billion people. It is impossible to achieve human security unless we ensure water security by supplying safe water to the world’s vulnerable people. Let us citizens, businesses and NGOs work together to create a world where everyone can enjoy safe water. I believe that this is an important step towards a “New Normal” in the post-COVID-19 world.

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 Happy children with their spring equipment, supported by JWF Fund 2019 (Kenya)

 SDGs badge and Goal 6

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・Announcement from the Japan Water Forum

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- JWF Fund 2020 will be open for applications!

The JWF Fund was founded in 2005 and is operated solely by the Japan Water Forum (JWF), which aims to support selected grass-roots organizations in developing countries that have been addressing local water-related issues. Every year, the JWF publicly seeks out projects to support. Those adopted after due assessment are eligible for funding of up to 1,000 USD per project. The JWF Fund is based on JWF membership fees and donations from general contributors.

JWF will start to call for applications for the JWF Fund 2020.
The application period for this year is 22 June to 6:00 p.m. 21 July, 2020 in Japan time. We are going to select about 7 projects this year.

The guidelines and the prescribed application form will be released on 22 June.

We hope that it will become a certain step to solve water-related issues at the grass-roots level. We look forward to receiving your applications!

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・Report from the Japan Water Forum

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- JWF Fund 2019: Completed report of the project in South Sudan

Under the JWF Fund 2019, seven projects in six countries were selected and funded out of 302 applications submitted from 36 countries.
The completed project report will be posted monthly.

▼Project in South Sudan▼
http://www.waterforum.jp/all/grass_roots_projects/jwf/2020/0616/?p=13700tag=en,rep_en

(Reported by Shigenori Asai, Director)

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- Mission UCHIMIZU 2020 will enrich a New Normal in the post-COVID-19 world

On March 11, the WHO declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic. In Japan, the government declared a state of emergency across the country on April 7.
Since then, Mission UCHIMIZU headquarters have been seeking ways to call for action in this new living environment that no one has ever experienced. Therefore, they held an online meeting, which was attended by experts from the water sector and event industry, to discuss this year's project with other stakeholders from across Japan.

▼Please visit the following website for details▼
http://www.waterforum.jp/all/capacity_development/uchimizu/2020/0617/?p=13671tag=en,rep_en

(Reported by Sayoko Kuwahara, Manager)

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▼JWF News Archives▼
http://www.waterforum.jp/all/newsletter?tag=en,rep_en

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JWF News Vol. 188 / 17 June 2020
Japan Water Forum

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