May 9, 2011
End Water Poverty
are calling for leaders to urgently
tackle the global water and sanitation crisis at this week's United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC-IV)
Conference on the Least Developed Countries provides platform for action on WASH
More than 300 million people in the world's least developed countries live without safe water.
WaterAid / Caroline Irby
Government representatives from the poorest countries will attend
alongside colleagues from the richest countries, the UN, civil society
and multilaterals to devise the Istanbul Programme for Action - a plan
aimed at ensuring the least developed countries will tackle poverty and
A staggering 500 million people living in the world's least developed
countries have no access to sanitation, while more than 300 million are
without clean drinking water, resulting in child deaths, lost school
attendance, lost job opportunities and over-burdened health systems.
This week is a critical opportunity to take action on this crisis that has such a huge impact on the world’s poorest people.
Lisa Schechtman, Head of Policy & Advocacy, WaterAid, America
"Leaders must ensure that access to water and sanitation is a
priority," said End Water Poverty International Coordinator Fleur
Anderson. "Without these basic necessities, hundreds of thousands of
lives are lost, girls don't attend school and economies are crippled. To
put it simply, without water and sanitation, the fight against poverty
will not be won."
Investing in water and sanitation would:
Calling for action
Provide a huge return on investment – for every $1 invested in water
and sanitation, $8 is returned in economic returns through increased
Prevent up to 1.4 million child deaths every year (UNICEF)
Ensure more girls go to school, giving back millions of school days lost each year due to water-related diseases (UNDP)
In the lead up to the conference, WaterAid and End Water Poverty have
been working to raise awareness of the importance of water and
sanitation in lifting people out of poverty.
More than 350,000 people in more than 70 countries joined the World
Walks for Water initiative on World Water Day on March 22, ensuring
decision makers our heard key messages.
civil society manifesto
has been produced with recommendations for the conference.
End Water Poverty attended
in New York to ensure water and sanitation are being talked about, and also participated in civil society hearings as well as
meeting with Mr Cheick Sidi Diarra
the Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for the LDCs, who
has been tasked by Ban-Ki Moon to lead the conference and presented our
This work has ensured that the Istanbul Programme for Action will
include the target that all LDCs will have sanitation and water access
“This week is a critical opportunity to take action on this crisis that has such a huge impact on the world’s poorest people," said Lisa Schechtman, Head of Policy & Advocacy at WaterAid, America.