Thursday, March 27, 2014

Pakistan get minor aid for water and sanitation

Sarfraz Ali

Water aid disclosed in a report that only $0.53 has been received in water and sanitation aid for each person in Pakistan on average for the years 2010-2012”, unveiled a startling new report, Bridging the Divide, released by the international development charity WaterAid on the eve of World Water Day.
This is despite, 15.1 million people in Pakistan (8% of the population) not having access to clean drinking water and 92.8 million (53% of the population) going without basic access to sanitation.
The report argues that international water and sanitation aid is failing to reach those in greatest need, exacerbating global inequalities rather than reducing them.
Overall, Pakistan has received on average $94.15 million per year in water and sanitation aid, for the years 2010-2012. While Mauritius, which has a smaller population of just 1.3 million, received a comparable $73.8 million on average over this period, even though its rates of access to basic sanitation is over 90% and access to clean drinking water is above 99%.
Mr. Siddiq Ahmed Khan, Country Representative, WaterAid in Pakistan said: “The stated aim of international aid is to help the world’s poor break out of poverty and to live healthy and productive lives – and to positively address our fundamentally unequal world. With over 40,000 children under the age of five dying every year in Pakistan because of a lack of access to clean drinking water, basic sanitation and hygiene why is not more water and sanitation aid being targeted at those who are desperately waiting for these essential services in our country?” Over 400 people take part in World Walks for Water and Sanitation events in Lahore Pakistan on World Water day in solidarity with the people who are still forced to walk for water. During the side events with Legislators where 20 Parliamentarian of Punjab Assembly participated, they also wow to work to end water poverty and also supported in demanding universal and sustainable access to water and sanitation.
Despite globally 1 in 10 people lacking access to clean drinking water, and more than 1 in 3 without access to basic sanitation, most donors still allocate relatively low priority to aid spending to tackle this crisis, accounting in 2012 for just 6% of overall donor aid.
In addition, much of the promised aid fails to be delivered. Over the past decade donors have failed – for reasons unclear – to pass on a third of the money they pledged to spend on water and sanitation aid, or US$27.6 billion out of the US$81.2 billion since 2002 that has been committed.
The WaterAid report comes ahead of crucial discussions at the World Bank in Washington in April (10-11) where the Sanitation and Water for All partnership will hold its third High-Level WaterAid in Pakistan is calling for a dedicated goal on universal access to water and sanitation, as part of the new global post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals so that everyone, everywhere has access to these life giving necessities no later than 2030.
Meanwhile, “Bridging the Divide-using aid flows to tackle extremes in global water and sanitation scarcity”, the analysis highlights six countries that fall into all six categories, which includes DR Congo, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Mozambique, Niger and Tanzania. Seven countries are in five of the categories: Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, Sudan, Uganda and India, and a further ten are in four of the six categories of need: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, China, Indonesia, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen.
The report adds: “Safe drinking water and sanitation are human rights and critical determinants of development prospects, yet they remain distant, unattainable luxuries for hundreds of millions of the world’s poorest citizens. Although World Water Day 2014 sees over six billion people enjoying daily access to improved drinking water and the 2015 Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target for water achieved ahead of schedule, the overall picture is one of a major divide: abundance, even excess for some, yet scarcity or complete absence of safe water for others”. Global report stated that the inequality of access is one of the enduring characteristics of the sector. A typical person among the 768 million trapped in water poverty in developing countries is forced to rely on five litres of unsafe water a day, yet her counterpart in a high-income European country is likely to consume up to 30 times that amount of clean, safe water. This in turn leads to wide differences in the prevalence of water-related disease: diarrhoea is the second largest cause of child mortality in developing countries, responsible for over 800,000 deaths a year, yet it represents minimal risk and threat to children in high-income countries.
India, the legacy of discrimination and funding shortages has left scheduled castes and tribes disproportionately affected. In Nepal, certain remote villages in the Himalayan region receive no funding for water and sanitation from the government, donors or non-governmental organisations. There is a major gender divide too. Women and girls bear the main responsibility for collecting water in Sub-Saharan Africa, shouldering over 70% of the burden.
The global report also carries recommendations, which include: Commit to achieving universal access to drinking water, sanitation and hygiene by 2030, with a dedicated goal in the post-2015 development framework: Water, sanitation and hygiene are essential for health, welfare and livelihoods. Yet too many people do not have these basic human rights. After 2015, we must do better, and the international community should commit to a dedicated goal on universal access to water and sanitation in the post-2015 development framework.

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