Simply installing toilets where needed throughout the world and ensuring safe water supplies would do more to end crippling poverty and improve world health than any other possible measure, according to an analysis released [on 19 Oct 2008] by the United Nations University – International Network on Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH).
The analysis says better water and sanitation reduces poverty in three ways.
- New service business opportunities are created for local entrepreneurs;
- Significant savings are achieved in the public health sector; and
- Individual productivity is greater in contributing to local and national economies.
In the analysis, prepared for global policy makers and released Oct. 20 at the start of a two-day UNU-INWEH-hosted international meeting [Sanitation: Innovations for Policy and Finance] in Hamilton, Canada, experts offer a prescription for policy reform.
Topics/presentations at the meeting include:
- Table Groups: Paying the Piper – the Business Side of Sanitation Sustainability
- Keynote Address 3 – Jamie Benidickson, University of Ottawa
Law, Environment and Financing: Implications for Sanitation
- Session 2 Mobilising Money, Capacity and Governance to Improve Global Access to Sanitation – George Yap (SWAN Canada; WaterCan)
- Table Groups: Hiring the Piper
The UNU-INWEH analysis identifies population growth, poverty, climate change, globalization and inappropriate policies on investment, urbanization, and intensification of agriculture as the five global trends most likely to exacerbate water supply and sanitation problems in years to come.
UNU-INWEH was created in 1996 to strengthen water management capacity, particularly of developing countries, and to provide on-the-ground project support. With core funding provided by the Government of Canada, it is hosted by McMaster University, Canada.