Water and Sanitation Report Card: Slow Progress, Inadequate Funding

A woman from Pune, Timor-Leste, collects water for her home. Credit: UN Photo/Martine PerretBy Tim BrewerLONDON, Nov 24 2014 (IPS)The Ebola crisis has thrown into sharp relief the issue of water, sanitation and hygiene in treating and caring for the sick. Dying patients are being taken to hospitals which never had enough water to maintain hygiene, and the epidemic has pushed the system to breaking point.Last week’s World Health Organisation report produced by UN Water, the Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking Water (GLAAS), has provided a sobering picture of water and sanitation services so necessary to healthcare systems around the world.Half of the lucky minority of rural poor who have gained access to improved water and sanitation are still using unregulated services which have no way to guarantee safety.The annual analysis is a gold mine of data, covering 94 countries and using information from 23 aid agencies. The story it tells this year is of modest progress alongside inadequate funding, poor monitoring and a desperate need for skilled regulators, administrators and engineers to keep services running effectively.Among GLAAS’s most important findings are how poorly finances intended to address the water and sanitation crisis are targeted.Urban areas are prioritised over rural regardless of the level of need – nearly three-quarters of aid spending goes to urban areas and more than 60 percent of aid is in the form of loans, which are...
Source: IPS Inter Press Service - Health - Category: Global & Universal Authors: Tags: Aid Development & Aid Environment Food & Agriculture Global Global Governance Headlines Health Human Rights IPS UN: Inside the Glasshouse Population Poverty & MDGs Water & Sanitation ActionAid ebola GLAAS Sustainable Develo Source Type: news

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