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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE CSO EAST AFRICA FORUM ...Click HERE
In 2007, readers of the British Medical Journal were asked to vote for the biggest medical milestone of the last 200 years. They chose sanitation. Modern sanitation has added 20 years to the average human life. Good sanitation is also economically sensible. In 2012, the World Health Organization estimated the global return on sanitation spending is US $5.5 for every US $1 invested. Where good sanitation exists, people are healthier, wealthier, and cleaner. Lack of access to improved sanitation costs countries up to 7 percent of GDP.
Yet, sanitation remains one of the most off-track Millennium Development Goals, with 2.5 billion people still lacking access, leading to thousands of child deaths every day. With the basic health and human dignity of several billion poor people at stake, something has to be done – today.
On April 19, the UN Deputy Secretary-General (DSG), Jan Eliasson, UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake, World Bank Group Vice President of Sustainable Development Rachel Kyte, and American Standard Senior Vice President Jim McHale had an online conversation with key global decision makers about the economics and politics of sanitation.
At the same time, Jan Eliasson, announced the 2014 SWA High Level Meeting (HLM) , just before the World Bank Spring Meetings at an event co hosted by the World Bank and the United Nations.
The announcement came just one month after the DSG launched his own Call to Action on Sanitation, where he called for an end to open defecation by 2025 and pointed to SWA as a key platform for action.
Of the 2012 SWA High Level Meeting, he said it was, “One of the best meetings I can recall” because it involved Finance Ministers and encouraged increasing budgets. “I hope that water and sanitation will feature highly when we chart the road ahead post-2015,” he added.
The 2014 HLM will be held in April next year at the World Bank in Washington DC. It will be a major milestone in the SWA High Level Commitments Dialogue (HLCD). The HLCD is the overarching umbrella that includes the High Level Meeting itself, the
preparatory process carried out by countries and donors in advance of the HLM
and monitoring commitments after HLMs.
The HLCD is designed to encourage on-going political dialogue and is focused on achieving results on the ground. The 2014 HLM will assess progress by countries and donors against the commitments they tabled in 2012, and will prompt SWA partners to table new and even more ambitious commitments.
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