Mardini said governments participating in this week’s conference have agreed to include a pledge in a joint declaration this weekend to “respect international law providing protection for water resources, infrastructure and the environment in times of armed conflict”.
“Under international humanitarian law,” Mardini said, “parties engaged in conflict must ensure that the provision of essential services, which includes water, is not interrupted for civilian populations. The problem is not a lack of law but that the law isn’t applied at the height of the conflict.” Some 750 million people in conflict zones lack access to clean water, he noted.
According to United Nations figures, a quarter of the 1.2 billion people globally who lack clean drinking water and 15% of the 2.6 billion without proper sanitation are in war zones.
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