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Joining the Freshwater Challenge



Governments form the membership and all UN countries are encouraged to join the Freshwater Challenge. 45 countries and the European Union are now members of the Challenge.


To join, please contact us on

The Freshwater Challenge was officially launched by the governments of Colombia, DR Congo, Gabon, Mexico and Zambia at the UN Water Conference in March 2023. It is part of the Water Action Agenda and has attracted growing interest from UN Member States.

The Freshwater Challenge was chosen as one of the Water Outcomes of COP28 in the United Arab Emirates – providing an ideal platform for governments to commit to the Challenge. 38 countries seized the opportunity to join at the Ministerial event in Dubai, which was co-hosted by the COP28 Presidency.

Along with the European Union, the 45 current members of the Freshwater Challenge include:

Botswana, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Canada, Chad, Chile, Colombia, DR Congo, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Fiji, France, Finland, Gabon, Gambia, Germany, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mexico, Moldova, Mozambique, Nepal, Netherlands, Niger, Norway, Pakistan, Peru, Republic of Congo, Senegal, Slovenia, Spain, Tajikistan, Tanzania, UAE, Uganda, UK, USA, Zambia and Zimbabwe

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The main role of the Core and Supporting partners of the Freshwater Challenge at both global and national levels is to leverage resources to support the Country Members to accelerate the implementation of their national targets.

The type of support will be decided and requested by each country based on needs and national circumstances. Support can also be provided at regional and basin levels. The main services proposed entail:

Filling knowledge gaps for action

Access to freshwater-related data and information is critical to (i) understand the social, economic, and environmental risks, their costs as well as quantifying the benefits associated with healthy freshwater ecosystems; (ii) prevent disaster and build effective early-warning systems, (iii) develop carbon strategies for freshwater systems to ensure natural functioning for carbon storage and flows; and (iv) successfully identify measures and target funding.

Facilitate coordination and inclusivity

This includes alignment across multilateral agreements and frameworks; whole-of government approach; whole-of-society contribution; inclusion of marginalized.

Mobilize resources for implementation

The FWC not create a new fund for implementation but it will help countries to leverage resources through existing initiatives, programmes and funds. Beyond connecting Members with existing and new financing sources and potential donors, the FWC partners will also support the development of: (i) targeted financing strategies to define predictable revenue flows from freshwater-related investments; (ii) pipelines of bankable projects; (iii) financial mechanisms, included blended finance; and (iv) partnerships with accelerators, preparation facilities, private sector co- investors, foundations, and donors.

Existing Members please contact the Freshwater Challenge support unit:

Note: Meeting the ambitious objectives of the Freshwater Challenge will require collective action, including local communities and the private sector. A Private Sector Support Programme is currently being developed in collaboration with selected corporates and platforms. The FWC plans to launch this programme by the end of 2024. 

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