Friday, November 10, 2006

UN Human Development Report 2006

The United Nations just released the 2006 Human Development Report -- subtitled, Beyond Scarcity: Power, poverty and the global water crisis. As the subtitle implies, the focus of the HDR is on clean water and sanitation in the third world. According to the UN, 5,000 children die every day due to inadequate water supply. The UN sets a target spending of at least 1% GDP on improving water and sanitation -- recommending that governments provide at the very minimum, 20 litres of clean water per day for every person. In comparison, Canadians user on average, 575 litres of water per day per person.

Improving water and sanitation conditions in developing nations is one quick way of combating a host of diseases. It is also a direct contributor to nations achieving the eight UN Millennium development targets. Unfortunately, at the pace currently underway, the targets, including those related to clean water, will not be achieved. When you look at the extreme poverty of some developing nations, and the efforts by the rich nations of world, you realize there is little hope.

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