Poorest communities and regions missing out on aid for water and sanitation
UN report shows only half of development aid for sanitation and drinking water is targeted to the regions where 70% of those without safe water and sanitation live, with a huge opportunity for world leaders to change this at the Sanitation and Water for All High Level Meeting next week
13 April 2012
The UN-Water Global Annual Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking Water (GLAAS), produced by the World Health Organisation and UN Water, was released yesterday a week before World Leaders gather in Washington DC at a crucial meeting to take action to end the water and sanitation crisis.
End Water Poverty is urging Finance and Development Ministers across the globe to attend this meeting and to make firm commitments to action to ensure that safe water and sanitation reaches the world’s poorest people and communities.
The GLAAS report shows that despite the global financial crisis, the total amount of development aid for sanitation and drinking water has increased by 3% between 2008 and 2010, to US$ 7.8 billion. This is good news but only half of it is targeted to sub-Saharan Africa, Southern Asia and South-eastern Asia where 70% of the people without clean drinking water and safe sanitation actually live. Some of the countries with the lowest coverage levels, including Somalia and Madagascar, receive low levels of water and sanitation aid per capita. Further to this, funding is disproportionately targeted at urban areas, even in countries where urban areas are well served and rural communities still lack access.
Despite global progress, most countries are still falling short on meeting their own national WASH commitments, with 83% of countries falling significantly behind the progress required to meet their national access targets for sanitation and 70% of countries falling behind on their drinking water targets. Development aid commitments to sanitation and drinking water are still lower than those for most social sectors, including health and education.
The report also shows that funding in many countries may not be enough to maintain water and sanitation services, with only 3% of external support directed at this. Lack of funding for maintenance is therefore putting the sustainability of water and sanitation systems and services at risk.
This evidence provides the push to action for governments across the world to do better in reaching the countries and communities who need aid most. On Friday 20th April, world leaders will meet in Washington DC at the Sanitation and Water for All High Level Meeting to make firm commitments to action to end the water and sanitation crisis.
End Water Poverty is calling for:
- Significantly more and better funding for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, targeted at the most vulnerable communities, to achieve universal access by 2020;
- The development and implementation of viable national plans for water and sanitation, including recognition and operationalisation of the human right to water and sanitation;
- Equity and sustainability is at the heart of all approaches so that WASH services are accessible to all including the most vulnerable communities and specifically for women and girls.
End Water Poverty will be in Washington next week for the SWA High Level Meeting and we will be giving live updates as we hear the commitments made and telling you whether we think world leaders have done enough.
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