April 16, 2012
UN “GLAAS” report highlights risk of sanitation and water supply services slipping behind. Additional and targeted resources required.
WaterAid sees the new UN-Water Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking Water or “GLAAS” report as a crucial call to be
vigilant on sustaining routine operation and maintenance of existing
systems and services as well as calling for more and better allocated
WaterAid / Abir Abdullah
GLAAS is a report of UN-Water coordinated by the World
Health Organization. It monitors the inputs required to extend and
sustain water, sanitation and hygiene systems and services. Building on
the results of the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Program, GLAAS analyzes
the underlying reasons for success – or lack thereof.
The world’s poorest communities deserve a concerted effort on all of our parts. We need to realign resources so that they are used in the most efficient manner possible and help the poorest communities.
- David Winder, CEO, WaterAid, America
“We are pleased to see such a distinguished player call for further attention to two issues which have always been dear to our mission: maintaining systems once they are put in place and the equitable and best allocation of resources,” commented David Winder, CEO of WaterAid in America.
The GLAAS report presents data received from 74 developing countries, up from 43 in 2010; and from 24 bilateral and multilateral agencies covering 90% of global official development assistance funds. “Along with a chronic lack of technicians and skilled labor, countries report insufficient staff in place to operate and maintain sanitation and drinking-water infrastructure,” according to the report.
“Data suggest that funding allocations may not be sufficient to fund routine operation and maintenance. For example, one in three countries highlighted that revenues are insufficient to cover operating costs for urban utilities. Only 3% of external support is directed at maintaining services. All these factors put sustainability of water and sanitation systems at risk in many countries, “ the report said.
“The total amount of development aid for sanitation and drinking water increased by 3% between 2008 and 2010, to US$ 7.8 billion, but only half of it is targeted to the regions where 70% of the global unserved actually live such as sub-Saharan Africa, Southern Asia and South-eastern Asia,” the report continued.
“Ultimately, this report is about optimizing the instruments we have to ensure primary prevention of a major global killer, diarrheal diseases, across all sectors contributing to water and sanitation progress,” said Dr. Maria Neira, WHO Director for Public Health and Environment. “The major gains that have been made urgently need consolidation through investment in water services, coupled with a strengthening of financial and human resources to ensure further progress in the provision of safe drinking-water and basic sanitation”.
David Winder, CEO of WaterAid, America added: “The world’s poorest communities deserve a concerted effort on all of our parts. We need to realign resources so that they are used in the most efficient manner possible and help the poorest communities.”
“Hopefully the results of the GLAAS report will lead to fruitful discussions during the second High-Level Meeting
of the Sanitation and Water for All Partnership (SWA)
,” Winder added.
SWA is a multilateral approach to addressing the most basic of needs
around the world. Its governance body includes civil society, donors, and Ministers of Finance and Water and Sanitation from countries in need of accelerated action for their citizens. Its purpose is fairly simple: SWA seeks to support the 57 countries farthest off-track in meeting their goals for safe drinking water and sanitation by building political will, endorsing national plans backed by domestic resources, pooling donor funds to help get the job done, and providing technical support to ensure the job is done well and in a way that lasts.