Bassel Daher, Ph.D.

In September 2015, the United Nations General Assembly announced the list of new sustainable development goals (SDGs). These goals were put forward to guide the progress and development of member states as they plan into the future. Achieving the 17 goals described in the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development will require unprecedented levels of coordinated funding and international attention. In a world of increasing challenges of climate change, urbanization, conflict-driven population relocations, widening income inequalities, threatened food security, youth unemployment, and existing governance practices, do we have the proper mechanisms to move forward with implementing the SDGs? Who finances the implementation of these goals, and how do we monitor their progress? This paper will provide an overview of SDG 6 and its interconnections with various emerging social, and by their nature, global challenges. To understand the effectiveness of international donors in supporting the SDGs, the paper will focus on SDG 6’s progress in Jordan, a developing country facing extreme water scarcity and refugee crises. The paper focuses on (1) mapping the current landscape of SDG 6 funding and progress, (2) who donates the most to water- and sanitation-related funding in Jordan, and (3) where gaps exist between SDG 6 target progress and international attention. It concludes that a disproportionately high amount of funding goes to projects and initiatives related to SDG targets 6.1 (i.e., safe and affordable drinking water for all) and 6.2 (i.e., sanitation and hygiene for all and end open defecation), which are progressing relatively well in Jordan. In contrast, little funding goes to activities related to SDG targets 6.4 (i.e., increase water-use efficiency across all sectors and ensure freshwater supplies to address water scarcity) and 6.6 (i.e., protect and restore water-related ecosystems), which are progressing slowly or sometimes regressing.

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