More information needed for the 748 million people without clean, safe water

News

14 May 2014 | AU

WaterAid is waiting to hear more from the Australian Government about what last night’s aid cuts will mean for the 748 million people living without clean, safe water and the 2.5 billion living without adequate sanitation around the world.

“Last night’s announcements of additional cuts to international aid are worrying, but provide little detail about how this will impact on water, sanitation and hygiene - the basic building blocks to economic growth and poverty reduction,” said WaterAid Australia’s Director of Policy and Campaigns, Jonathon Gurry.

“Australians are caring and generous people, and can be deeply proud of the 2.2 million people our aid dollars reached with clean, safe water, and 1.9 million people reached with adequate sanitation over the last year,” Mr Gurry said.

“This has contributed to the global achievement of reaching 2.3 billion people with clean, safe water in just over 20 years. Across the world, governments are recognising the central value of safe water and sanitation to health, education, and gender equity,” continued Mr Gurry.

“WaterAid is encouraged by signals that this Government is committed to an aid program that prioritises health, education and empowering women and girls, but is anxiously awaiting further details about the extent to which these commitments are reflected in the new aid Budget. It is well established that investments in water, sanitation and hygiene are fundamental to meaningful progress in health, education and for women and girls; the priority the new Government allocates to water, sanitation and hygiene is an important early test of their commitment to these new aid and development priorities,” stated Mr Gurry.   

“WaterAid recognises that today many Australians are hurting, but we remind the Government that there are millions of people across the world living without access to clean, safe water and adequate sanitation. Investment in these most basic human needs is the precursor to a successful program of economic growth and poverty reduction. We look forward to receiving further information and clarity from this Government in the coming weeks,” concluded Mr Gurry.

Contact
Kirrily Johns, Communications Manager: 03 9001 8246 or Kirrily.Johns@wateraid.org.au

About WaterAid
WaterAid’s vision is of a world where everyone has access to safe water and sanitation. The international organisation works in 26 countries across Africa, Asia, Central America and the Pacific region to transform lives by improving access to safe water, hygiene and sanitation in some of the world’s poorest communities. Since 1981, WaterAid has reached 19.2 million people with safe water and, since 2004, 15.1 million people with sanitation. For more information, visit: www.wateraid.org/au