Press Notice 03, Session 2006-07

Water and Sanitation, New evidence session

Thursday 30 November

The Thatcher Room, Portcullis House

At 14.30: Will Day, Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor, Kevin Watkins, Director, UNDP Human Development Report and David Satterthwaite, International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED)

At 15.30: Umesh Pandey, Nepal Water for Health, and Jack Moss, Aquafed

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Evidence of a global water crisis is widespread. Currently, more than 2 billion people have no access to sanitation and one billion are without access to clean water. The UN believes that over the next 2 decades the average supply of water per person worldwide will drop by a third. The increasing scarcity of water will hit poor people the hardest, with farmers, slum dwellers and women and children amongst the most vulnerable groups. Access to clean water and sanitation are basic human requirements, and are crucial to many aspects of poverty reduction, including improved health and sustainable economic and social development.

The International Development Committee has begun an inquiry into Water and Sanitation. The main purpose of the inquiry will be to examine how donors - notably the UK's Department for International Development (DFID) - can support progress towards Millennium Development Goal 7, which aims to reduce by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation by 2015, and support progress towards other MDGs through achieving outcomes in water and sanitation.

In 2005, DFID announced a doubling of its aid to Africa for water. The 2006 DFID White Paper has doubled this figure again to £200 million by 2011. The White Paper pledges support for the delivery of water and sanitation services and the sustainable and equitable management of water resources. The inquiry will examine how DFID is fulfilling these commitments, as well as assessing multilateral efforts to secure progress on water and sanitation. The Committee will also look at progress by other stakeholders on water and sanitation.

The session on 30 November will focus on water service delivery. Key issues under this theme include:

€ The role of donors, governments, the private sector and other non-state providers in improving water service delivery to poor people

€ Securing the right balance between different aspects of service provision, including public/private sector involvement and urban/rural challenges

€ Replication of successful small-scale initiatives and identification of what can work at scale

€ Co-operation, co-ordination and capacity-building between and with water operators, governments and donors and the effectiveness of partnerships in improving water provision.

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Further Information:

The membership of the Committee is as follows: Malcolm Bruce MP (Chairman, Lib Dem), John Barrett MP (Lib Dem), John Battle MP (Lab), John Bercow MP (Con), Hugh Bayley MP (Lab), Richard Burden MP (Lab), Mr Quentin Davies MP (Con), James Duddridge MP (Con), Ann McKechin MP (Lab), Joan Ruddock MP (Lab), Mr Marsha Singh (Lab).

Media Enquiries: Alex Paterson, 020 7219 1589 or [email protected]

Committee website: www.parliament.uk/indcom

Watch committees and parliamentary debates online: www.parliamentlive.tv