Friday, February 03, 2006


Worldwide, there are 1.1 billion people without safe drinking water and 2.6 billion are without sanitation.

In 2002 the European Union launched its Water Initiative (EUWI) to combat this situation. It is supposed to ensure that the €1.4 billion annual water aid budget is used to its fullest effect. In order to facilitate this objective, it has five main aims. These are to;

reinforce political commitment to action;
raise the profile of water and sanitation issues;
encourage regional cooperation;
improve water governance;
gain additional funding.

However since its inception not one single extra person has received safe water or sanitation through the Initiative. The reasons for this failing are simple. The EUWI initially stalled as it took more than two years to adopt its 19 page organisational structure, and then spent its time promoting private finance initiatives despite the fact that public finance outstrips private finance by nine times in developing country water sectors.

So go on then you bastards, tell me capitalism is working. You can't even sort things out when you make the rules. Your greed driven bureaucratic failings can be counted in the millions of additional children's lives that will be lost due to the lack of safe water and sanitation.

An empty glass: The EU Water Initiative’s contribution to the water and sanitation Millennium targets

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