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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Social, Health, & Economic Impacts of Inadequate Investment in Water Sanitation Under-estimated

Impacts of Neglecting Investment in Sanitation and Water Under-estimated, say 20 Water Ministers from Africa and Asia
Posted: Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The social, health and economic impacts of neglecting investment in sanitation and water have been under-estimated. Poor sanitation and water trigger a downward slide into poverty, where the sector economic impact is often found to be excess of 5% GDP.

The economic benefits of achieving universal access to sanitation and drinking water are estimated at US $171 billion per year. Sanitation and water interventions deliver economic returns of at least five times on investment, with an annual rate of return of 20% or more.

This is part of the statement adopted by 20 African and Asian Water Ministers during the Ministerial dialogue on April 22, 2010 on the eve of the first Sanitation and Water for All Global Framework for Action High Level Meeting held in Washington on the April 23, 2010.

The ministers ask the donor community to increase the sanitation and water commitments targeted to low income countries from 42 percent of sector aid in 2008 to 50 percent in 2013. Increasing the percentage of sector aid allocated to basic services from 16 percent to 27% of the total sector aid by 2013, is another demand.

The ministers also call on the donor community to:

  • Increase investment for meeting the water and sanitation Millennium Development Goals (MDG) targets so that no credible national water and sanitation plan goes unimplemented due to a lack of funds.

  • Provide catalytic funding for technical assistance to help us address our institutional capacity issues and develop our national plans, thereby enabling the poorest countries to effectively utilise the increased investment in the sector.

  • Monitor and report on the implementation of the Paris Declaration Principles and Accra Agenda for Action towards improving aid effectiveness in the water and sanitation sector.

  • Enter into partnerships or compacts with our governments based on mutual accountability of donors to our governments and our governments to our citizens.

The ministers commit to advocate and provide the evidence of the benefits of investing in water and sanitation so that this sector is prioritized in their national budgets. Their other commitments include:

  • Developing credible National Plans, for meeting the water and sanitation MDG targets and ensuring sustainable service delivery.

  • Providing strong sector leadership and ensuring coordination for implementing national plans.

  • Identifying and addressing the institutional capacity gaps for implementing these plans.

  • Undertake Annual Monitoring and review of progress against our National Plans with the participation of all the key sector stakeholders.

Source: Sanitation and Water for All Water Ministers Statement 230410 , 26 April 2010
Ministers of Water and Sanitation from Africa and Asia

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