Meeting the sanitation and water challenge in South-East Asia and the Pacific
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This World Water Day along with every other day of the year, 5,500 children will die from diseases caused by contaminated and unsafe water. 2.4 billion people, almost 40% of the world’s population, do not have access to basic sanitation. Over 880 million people, roughly one in eight, do not have access to safe water. This is a global crisis.
Today, the 22nd of March is the World Water Day. A day to remind us that more people have already died and will continue to die of sanitation and water-related diseases than all the global wars put together.
In another step to ensure this human tragedy is not forgotten, Parliamentary Secretary for International Development Assistance, Bob McMullan, MP, launched an important publication by the International WaterCentre that shares the views of 200 government and non-government organisations from Australia, South-East Asia and the Pacific. The publication is a compilation of strategies that aim to directly contribute to meeting the United Nations Millennium Development Goals in the water, sanitation and hygiene sector.
The publication, titled “Meeting the Sanitation and Water Challenge in South-East Asia and the Pacific” has been compiled for the purpose of keeping the issues of water and sanitation high on national and international agendas. It is a report of the actions discussed by the participants who gathered at the Sanitation and Water Conference held in Melbourne in 2009 as part of Australia’s contribution to the International Year of Sanitation.
The publication captures and presents ten key strategies identified by the participants in their Conference Statement. It aims to disseminate the messages of the conference and to provide a useful resource document for the water and sanitation sector.
This International WaterCentre’s publication and associated Sanitation and Water conference are funded by AusAID, the Australian Government’s international development agency, and reflects the work of a team of dedicated non-government organisations and research institutions who are working together to enhance Australian-based sanitation and water initiatives overseas.
The International WaterCentre is committed to helping achieve the Millennium Development Goals and is one of the founding members of the Water and Sanitation Reference Group.
The Water and Sanitation Reference Group comprises representatives from WaterAID Australia, World Vision Australia, OxFam, the Institute of Sustainable Futures and many other organisations that come together to share perspectives and valuable experiences, to develop proposals and solutions, and to raise the profile of this human tragedy.
The eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were set by the United Nations in its 2000 Millennium Declaration. The goals aim to improve the human condition by 2015 in the areas of poverty and hunger, universal education, gender equality, child health, maternal health, HIV/AIDS, environmental sustainability and global partnership.
International WaterCentre (IWC) www.watercentre.org is the business centre for building international capacity in integrated water management. IWC undertakes education, training, research and consulting activities to promote whole-of-water cycle approaches to water management.