GLAAS Report Calls for Tripling Investments to Meet SDG Targets on Sanitation and Drinking Water
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WHO, on behalf of UN-Water, released the 2017 ‘Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-Water’ (GLAAS) report.

The report, subtitled ‘Financing Universal Water, Sanitation and Hygiene under the Sustainable Development Goals,’ examines data from 75 countries and 25 external support agencies on issues related to financing universal access to water and sanitation under the SDGs.

It concludes that the current level of WASH (Water for Sanitation and Health) financing is not sufficient to fund plans inspired by the SDGs and falls short of future requirements.

13 April 2017: “The current level of WASH (Water for Sanitation and Health) financing is not sufficient to fund plans inspired by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and falls short of future requirements,” according to the 2017 ‘Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-Water’ (GLAAS) report.

The report, subtitled ‘Financing Universal Water, Sanitation and Hygiene under the Sustainable Development Goals,’ examines data from 75 countries and 25 external support agencies on issues related to financing universal access to water and sanitation under the SDGs.

SDG 6 on clean water and sanitation has targets that call for: achieving universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all by 2030 (target 6.1); achieving, also by 2030, access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and ending open defecation (target 6.2); and supporting and strengthening the participation of local communities in improving water and sanitation management (target 6B).

The report highlights that “recent global estimates show a tremendous gap in financing to achieve the water supply, sanitation, and hygiene SDG 6 targets.” It finds that over 80% of countries report insufficient finance for both urban and rural areas in meeting national targets for drinking-water and sanitation, as well as those for water quality.

The UN has called on countries to “radically” increase investments in water and sanitation infrastructure.

In the publication’s forward, Guy Ryder, Chair of UN-Water and International Labour Organization Director-General, and WHO Director-General Margaret Chan note that this financing gap is “one of the greatest barriers to achieving these [SDG] targets.” They point out that to meet targets 6.1 and 6.2 alone, capital financing would need to triple to US$114 billion per annum, not including operating and maintenance costs. The UN has called on countries to “radically” increase investments in water and sanitation infrastructure.

The report features five main findings: that national WASH budgets are increasing as countries prepare to take on board the SDGs, yet a discrepancy remains between global aspirations and national realities; the SDGs require greater ambitions for WASH, but there remains a lack of financial sustainability for reaching the unserved and maintaining services; more and better data are available for informed decision making; official development assistance (ODA) disbursements for water and sanitation are increasing, but future investments are uncertain; and extending WASH services to vulnerable groups is a policy priority, but implementation is lagging behind. The publication contains sections on: financial planning; sources of financing for WASH; allocation of expenditures; and financing universal access.

Every two years, the GLAAS report is released by the WHO on behalf of UN-Water, the inter-agency coordination mechanism for all freshwater-related issues, including sanitation. UN-Water is comprised of UN entities with a focus on, or interest in, water related issues as Members and other non-UN international organizations as Partners. [UN Press Release] [UN Water Press Release] [Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-Water (GLAAS 2017 Report): Financing Universal Water, Sanitation and Hygiene under the Sustainable Development Goals] [Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform]

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