Thursday, 29 April 2010

2010 GLAAS report

GLAAS is UN Water’s ‘Global Annual Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-Water’ and the 2010 GLAAS report has just been published. Read it!

The Press Release for its launch in Washington, DC on 21 April contains a startling statement under the heading “Sanitation and water must no longer play second fiddle to other priorities. Countries with the greatest unmet sanitation and water needs most often receive little or no aid”:

Between 1997 and 2008, aid commitments for sanitation and water fell from 8% of total development aid to 5%, lower than commitments for health, education, transport, energy and agriculture. … This drop occurred despite compelling evidence that achieving the water and sanitation target of the Millennium Development Goals would lower health-care costs, increase school attendance and boost productivity. Despite these clear benefits for human and economic development, many countries and donors are still not allocating sufficient attention and resources to water and sanitation.

“Unsafe water, inadequate sanitation and the lack of hygiene claim the lives of an estimated 2.2 million children under the age of 5 every year. Of these deaths, 1.5 million are due to diarrhoea, the second leading contributor to the global burden of disease,” said Dr. Neira
[WHO’s Director of Public Health and Environment]. “The impact of diarrhoeal disease in children under 15 is greater than the combined impact of HIV and AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis.”

Nothing we didn’t already know, of course, but still very useful to have these things said again and again − and again and again.

We’ve just had the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme’s 2010 report. I just wonder if these JMP and GLAAS reports shouldn’t somehow be combined. There’s also the 2009 Millennium Development Goals Report which has a rather good 2½-page summary on sanitation and water.