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ImpactWater & Sanitation

Global Citizen gets Netherlands to commit to improved WASH and clean water for 80 million people

In the lead up to Global Citizen 2015 Earth Day, global citizens took 70,000 actions, signing our petitions, and sending e-mails to the Dutch government seeking a commitment from the Netherlands towards improved sanitation and access to clean water for the world’s poorest people.  

In response, the Dutch Government committed at Global Citizen 2015 to provide 50 million people with clean toilets and 30 million people with clean drinking water.


Global citizens’ campaigning secured a commitment at Global Citizen 2015 Earth Day from the Dutch Government to provide 50 million people with clean toilets and 30 million people with clean drinking water.

In the lead up to Global Citizen 2015 Earth Day, global citizens took 70,000 actions, signing our petitions and sending e-mails to the Dutch government seeking a commitment from the Netherlands towards improved sanitation and access to clean water for the world’s poorest people.

Responding to global citizens, the Dutch government brought forward and expanded plans to make a commitment to the Global Sanitation Fund, making an announcement at Global Citizen 2015 Earth Day. Lilianne Plouman, the Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, said,“My new pledge is that we will provide for 50 million people clean toilets, and for 30 million people we will provide them with clean drinking water.”

You can watch her full speech at Global Citizen 2015 Earth Day in the video below.

Since the commitment, we have been following up to ensure delivery. After becoming worried at the slow pace, we mobilized 1,368 global citizens to tweet to Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs on World Water Day 2016 (March 22) to request an update on how this commitment was progressing. The Dutch government then responded, stating that concrete plans would be presented before the summer, and that these would be aligned to the Global Goals and explain how they would reach their targets. This response was then followed up by high level meetings between Global Citizen staff and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs in April 2016 to discuss the developing implementation plans. We anticipate a formal update on progress by the end of May 2016.