Dr. Salim M. AlMalik, Director-General (DG) of the Islamic World Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (ICESCO), reaffirmed the importance of investments in innovative technologies and solutions for water supply, the development of water supply systems, the treatment of wastewater, and hygiene services. He highlighted that the COVID-19 pandemic revealed the importance of and the need for clean water.
The statement was part of the DG’s address at the “Virtual Innovation Summit 2020” that the World Association of Industrial and Technological Research Organizations (WAITRO) held today on its 50th anniversary. The event was in partnership with ICESCO and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), with the participation of HRH Princess Sumaya bint Hassan, President of WAITRO; Mr. Li Yong, UNIDO’s DG. A host of experts and specialists in water management and technology also participated in the event.
Dr. AlMalik also stated that the lack of water in many households is a threat to public health, particularly that washing hands with water and soap is the best and simplest means of protection from the COVID-19.
ICESCO’s DG highlighted that the Organization pays utmost attention to water-related issues by supporting the Member States to develop water resources integrated management strategies.
He elaborated that ICESCO will implement an ambitious plan in the two coming years, which mainly focuses on:
- Improving and ensuring clean water supply for one thousand schools in Member States’ villages;
- Supporting scientific research and innovation with 300 scholarships for researchers in the Member States to develop and find innovative solutions in various fields;
- Launching “ICESCO Innovation Award” for the best innovation in the field of science and technology likely to have a positive impact on the Member States;
- Developing a new transfer program of water sustainable management mechanisms to face the challenges of water scarcity and meet Member States’ water needs;
- Supporting the 9th Global Water Forum, due to be held in Dakar next year to explore and adopt ideas likely to preserve water resources.
At the close of his address, Dr. AlMalik called upon the international organizations, bodies, and research centers specialized in water resources management to cooperate with ICESCO to ensure water security for the neediest countries.