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2015 Nov; New York, New York, UNICEF, 2015 Nov. 84 p.This report aims to build the evidence base on children and climate change by focusing on the major climate-related risks; children’s current and future exposure to these risks; and the policies required to protect children from these risks. The report has three sections. The first section explores the major climate-related risks and their potential impacts on children – how climate change might influence the burden of disease for children – and examines the cumulative impact of repetitive crises on children and families. The second section examines how children may be affected under various scenarios of action - from business-as-usual to ambitious action in addressing climate change. The final section outlines a series of broad policy recommendations to prevent further global warming, decrease children’s exposure and increase their resilience to climate change and environmental risks.
Entebbe, Uganda, NBI, 2015 May.  p. (Briefing Note 9)Women and girls often risk being left behind in development, not being fully informed or involved in decision making about issues that can have a real impact on their lives. Sometimes, they are already disadvantaged by cultural and legal norms that affect their rights to resources. Working together to develop the Nile resource, the 10 countries involved in the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) are making it ‘business as usual’ to ensure gender equality in the economic benefits emerging from their shared efforts.
21 issues for the 21st century: Result of the UNEP Foresight Process on Emerging Environmental Issues.
Nairobi, Kenya, UNEP, 2012.  p.The purpose of the UNEP Foresight Process is to produce, every two years, a careful and authoritative ranking of the most important emerging issues related to the global environment. UNEP aims to inform the UN and wider international community about these issues on a timely basis, as well as provide input to its own work programme and that of other UN agencies, thereby fulfilling the stipulation of its mandate: “keeping the global environment under review and bringing emerging issues to the attention of governments and the international community for action”. This report is the outcome of that process and presents the identified issues titled: 21 Issues for the 21st Century. These issues cut across all major global environmental themes including food production and food security; cities and land use; biodiversity, fresh water and marine; climate change and energy, technology and waste issues. (Excerpt)
GLAAS 2012 report. UN-Water Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-Water. The challenge of extending and sustaining services.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2012.  p.The objective of the UN-Water Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-Water (GLAAS) is to monitor the inputs required to extend and sustain water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) systems and services. This includes the components of the “enabling environment”: documenting government policy and institutional frameworks; the volume, sources and targeting of investment; the sufficiency of human resources; priorities and gaps with respect to external assistance; and the influence of these factors on performance. A more challenging secondary goal is to analyse the factors associated with progress, or lack thereof, in order to identify drivers and bottlenecks, to identify knowledge gaps, to assess strengths and weaknesses, to identify challenges, priorities and successes, and to facilitate benchmarking across countries. This second UN-Water GLAAS report presents data received from 74 developing countries, covering all the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) regions, and from 24 external support agencies (ESAs), representing approximately 90% of official development assistance (ODA) for sanitation and drinking-water. There have been remarkable gains in WASH. The 2012 progress report of the World Health Organization (WHO) / United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation (JMP) announced that the MDG target for drinking-water was met in 2010: the proportion of people without access to improved drinking water sources had been more than halved (from 24% to 11%) since 1990. However, the progress report also noted that the benefits are very unevenly distributed.
London, United Kingdom, Earthscan, .  p.The world's urban population now exceeds the world's rural population. What does this mean for the state of our cities, given the strain this global demographic shift is placing upon current urban infrastructure? Following on from previous State of the World's Cities reports, this edition uses the framework of 'The Urban Divide' to analyse the complex social, political, economic and cultural dynamics of urban environments. The book focuses on the concept of the 'right to the city' and ways in which many urban dwellers are excluded from the advantages of city life, using the framework to explore links among poverty, inequality, slum formation and economic growth. The volume will be essential reading for all professionals and policymakers in the field, and a valuable resource for researchers and students in all aspects of urban development.
[Geneva, Switzerland], WHO, 2008. 2 p.There is now widespread agreement that the earth is warming, due to emissions of greenhouse gases caused by human activity. It is also clear that current trends in energy use development and population growth will lead to continuing - and more severe - climate change. The changing climate will inevitably affect the basic requirements for maintaining health: clean air and water, sufficient food and adequate shelter. Each year, about 800 000 people die from causes attributable to urban air pollution, 1.8 million from diarrhoea resulting from lack of access to clean water supply, sanitation, and poor hygiene, 3.5 million from malnutrition and approximately 60 000 in natural disasters. A warmer and more variable climate threatens to lead to higher levels of some air pollutants, increase transmission of diseases through unclean water and through contaminated food, to compromise agricultural production in some of the least developed countries, and increase the hazards of extreme weather. Climate change also brings new challenges to the control of infectious diseases. Many of the major killers are highly climate sensitive as regards to temperature and rainfall, including cholera, and the diarrhoeal diseases, as well as diseases including malaria, dengue and other infections carried by vectors. In sum, climate change threatens to slow, halt or reverse the progress that the global public health community is now making against many of these diseases. (excerpt)
Global Public Health. 2006 Feb; 1(1):31-48.Over 1 billion people lack access to improved water sources and 2.6 billion lack access to appropriate sanitation, greatly contributing to the global burden of disease. The international community has committed to reducing by half the proportion of the world's population lacking access to water and sanitation as a part of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). However, the disease burden due to poor access, is borne primarily by the poorest countries and the poorest people within them. Simply reducing the proportion of people without adequate access will not automatically result in proportional reductions in the related disease burden. The public health challenge inherent in meeting the MDG targets is ensuring that improvements result in access to water and sanitation for the critical at-risk populations. Innovative approaches are required to ensure the availability of low-cost, simple, and locally acceptable water and sanitation interventions and integrating these approaches into existing social institutions, such as schools, markets, and health facilities. (author's)
Bulletin of the World Health Organization. 2008 Jan; 86(1):13-19.Target 10 of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is to "halve by 2015 the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation". Because of its impacts on a range of diseases, it is a health-related MDG target. This study presents cost estimates of attaining MDG target 10. We estimate the population to be covered to attain the MDG target using data on household use of improved water and sanitation for 1990 and 2004, and taking into account population growth. We assume this estimate is achieved in equal annual increments from the base year, 2005, until 2014. Costs per capita for investment and recurrent costs are applied. Country data is aggregated to 11 WHO developing country subregions and globally. Estimated spending required in developing countries on new coverage to meet the MDG target is US$ 42 billion for water and US$ 142 billion for sanitation, a combined annual equivalent of US$ 18 billion. The cost of maintaining existing services totals an additional US$ 322 billion for water supply and US $216 billion for sanitation, a combined annual equivalent of US$ 54 billion. Spending for new coverage is largely rural (64%), while for maintaining existing coverage it is largely urban (73%). Additional programme costs, incurred administratively outside the point of delivery of interventions, of between 10% and 30% are required for effective implementation. In assessing financing requirements, estimates of cost should include the operation, maintenance and replacement of existing coverage as well as new services and programme costs. Country-level costing studies are needed to guide sector financing. (author's)
Africa Renewal. 2007 Oct; 21(3):7.Until six years ago, Eugenia Uwamahoro and several of her eight children had to trek 2 kilometres each day to a river to get about 140 litres of water for drinking, cooking, washing and feeding her four cows. There was a water pump in her village, Nyakabingo, in Rwanda's Gicumbi district, but it hardly functioned. Then the Rwandan government, with financial support from the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), repaired the pump, and the community contracted a private manager to maintain it. "It has improved my life," Ms. Uwamahoro told African Renewal. "Now we can rest." Not only has the pump saved her considerable time and effort, but she also gets her household's daily water supply at lower cost than she would have from the private village water carriers who cart it up from the river. Many villagers "are happy to pay for the improved service," says Kamaru Tstoneste, who operates the pump. But some villagers cannot afford the cost. So community leaders compiled a list of the neediest households, and review it from time to time. "This group gets an agreed quantity of free supply," Mr. Tstoneste told Africa Renewal. Still, he adds, "Old habits die hard. There are those who refuse to pay for water and still go to the river." (excerpt)
Woking, England, Plan, 2004 Oct. 52 p. (Working Paper Series)Safe water and environmental sanitation services (by which we mean solid and liquid waste facilities, vector and pest control as well as food hygiene) are vital for people's dignity and health, and are especially important in ensuring the healthy development of children. The lack of such facilities is responsible for over two million child deaths each year. This working paper aims to support Plan staff by looking at the whole issue of water and environmental sanitation and enable the organisation as a whole to direct resources in an integrated and cost-effective way. By doing so, we will be able to play a crucial role in achieving the Millennium Development Goals and in the 'International Decade for Action, Water for Life (2005-15)'. There is a clear link between poverty, poor water quality and a lack of environmental sanitation facilities. This working paper aims to position Plan's approach to water and environmental sanitation within the context of the broader international development goals andwithin Plan's own commitment to child centred community development. From this standpoint, it then looks in more detail at the main challenges linked to water and environmental sanitation and in each case details how Plan staff can put our approach into practice and the main issues to bear in mind while doing so. Further important issues to consider are also included. (excerpt)
Washington, D.C., World Bank, Infrastructure Network, Water Supply and Sanitation Sector Board, 2005 Oct.  p. (Water Supply and Sanitation Working Notes No. 6)This report reviews the current World Bank portfolio in sanitation and hygiene. The Bank's sanitation activities, ranging from latrine promotion to the construction of wastewater treatment plants, address a number of development objectives including improved health, greater human dignity, and a more sustainable environment. This report looks particularly closely at the degree to which the Bank's activities support the achievement of the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target of halving the fraction of the world's population without access to basic sanitation by 2015, and the constraints to increasing support to that aim. By current estimates over 2.6 billion people do not have access to basic sanitation and hygiene; this lack is a basic component of poverty, contributing as it does to 2 million child deaths a year, reduced school attendance, and a fundamental deprivation of human dignity. Meeting the MDG target will require a major increase in global investment to a level of at least US$ 2 billion per year. (excerpt)
Contact. 2005 Jan; (179):40-42.In our world today, the statistics on hunger continue to rise alarmingly despite general economic progress and technological advancement. The quality of peace and true democratic value and the realization of human rights remain stubborn challenges facing civilization in the twenty-first century. Both developed and developing countries have missed some crucial links that might have ensured sustainable development and a more promising 'peace' scenario today. In its haste, the global society has overlooked its rich heritage of cultural, moral, and ethical values as well as its basic respect for human life and promotion of human dignity, and has sadly discarded its general code of ethics and spirituality. In other words, the focus of the world has been mainly uni-dimensional on economic success and political power. The recently concluded summits- World Food Summit in Rome and the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg-have brought home the lack of political will and consensus to achieve even modest targets. There is a need for a consensus to achieve even modest targets. There is need for a larger ethical and moral movement beyond politics and the onus is on civil society to take the lead. (excerpt)
New York, New York, United Nations Population Fund [UNFPA], 2006.  p.Even in times of peace, it is usually women who look after children, the sick, the injured and the elderly. When emergencies strike, this burden of care can multiply. In many cases, women become the sole providers and caretakers for their households, and sometimes the families of others -- especially when men have been killed, injured or must leave their communities to fight or rebuild. During crisis and in refugee situations, women and girls become the ultimate humanitarian workers. They obtain food and fuel for their families, even when it is unsafe to do so. They are responsible for water collection, even when water systems have been destroyed and alternate sources are far away. They help to organize or rebuild schools. They protect the vulnerable and care for sick and disabled family members and neighbours. Women are also likely to take on additional tasks, including construction and other physical labour, and activities to generate income for their families. In many conflict zones, women's actions also help to bring about and maintain peace. Women care for orphaned children who might otherwise become combatants. They organize grass-roots campaigns, sometimes across borders, to call for an end to fighting. When the situation stabilizes, women work together to mend their torn communities. They help rebuild, restore traditions and customs, and repair relationships -- all while providing care for the next generation. (excerpt)
Finance and Development. 2007 Mar; 44(1): p.This approach is a bit like setting up a straw man only to knock it down. The aid industry unquestionably provides ample fodder for critics: many cases exist of aid funding poorly conceived, badly executed, unsustainable projects (for example, cement factories built far from sources of gypsum and sand). And some badly managed countries have, indeed, received millions, especially during the Cold War, when aid was extended for geopolitical objectives. At times, aid agencies followed fads that later proved misguided (recall the popular integrated rural development projects of the 1970s). This does not prove that all aid has been, or is, ineffective. It is entirely unsurprising that many economists have found the relationship between aggregate aid and growth to be weak. Evidence suggests a high level of heterogeneity in the effects of aid, which comes on top of the typical statistical problems that arise in cross-country analysis. Multiple markers for development success--income growth, poverty reduction, literacy, access to sanitation, and inoculations--further complicate empirical analysis. Case studies do not solve this problem because of the difficulty of establishing a counterfactual: some argue that aid has not prevented growing numbers of poor in Africa; others argue that the situation would be far worse without aid. Although these findings may make aid seem indefensible, much of the criticism is misguided. This isn't to say the impact of aid is easily known or that we can fine-tune aid to improve results. Even though it will be difficult for some time to come up with adequate evidence, there are strong grounds for believing that aid fosters development. (excerpt)
PLoS Medicine. 2006 Apr; 3(4):e211.One of the most unsettling images for newcomers to many parts of Africa is the sight of undernourished women bearing unfeasibly large vessels of water long distances over rough terrain to supply the needs of their families. A sense of outrage that anyone should have to live like this in the 21st century forms the basis of the humanitarian imperative that drives development programs, especially those that focus on basic needs such as access to safe water. When such a program reduces from three hours to 15 minutes the time that women spend fetching water each day, surely it can be described as a success, without the need for any "scientific" assessment of what has been achieved? In this issue of PLoS Medicine, we publish a study that did assess such a program. Mhairi Gibson and Ruth Mace (DOI: 10.1371/journal. pmed.0030087)--from the University of Bristol, United Kingdom--compared villages in Ethiopia that benefited from a tapped water supply with other villages that did not. Outcome measures included the nutritional status of women and children, mortality rates, and birth rates. There were a number of surprising findings, most notably the large increase in birthrate in the villages where the water supply intervention took place. (excerpt)
Toxicology. 2004 May 20; 198(1-3):39-44.The United States Public Health Service set an interim standard of 50 mg/l in 1942, but as early as 1962 the US Public Health Service had identified 10 mg/l as a goal which later became the World Health Organization Guideline for drinking water in 1992. Epidemiological studies have shown that about one in 10 people drinking water containing 500 mg/l of arsenic over many years may die from internal cancers attributable to arsenic, with lung cancer being the surprising main contributor. A prudent public health response is to reduce the permissible drinking water arsenic concentrations. However, the appropriate regulatory response in those developing countries with large populations with much higher concentrations of arsenic in drinking water, often exceeding 100 mg/l, is more complex. Malnutrition may increase risks from arsenic. There is mounting evidence that smoking and arsenic act synergistically in causing lung cancer, and smoking raises issues of public health priorities in developing countries that face massive mortality from this product. Also, setting stringent drinking water standards will impede short term solutions such as shallow dugwells. Developing countries with large populations exposed to arsenic in water might reasonably be advised to keep their arsenic drinking water standards at 50 mg/l. (author's)
New York, New York, UNICEF, 2006 Sep. 33 p.Water is as fundamental to human life as the air we breathe. Yet, ironically, this essence of life can have an injurious impact if its source is not free from pollution and infection -- and the most likely pollutant is human faeces that have not been disposed of and have spread because of a lack of basic sanitation and hygiene. Young children are more vulnerable than any other age group to the ill effects of unsafe water, insufficient quantities of water, poor sanitation and lack of hygiene. Globally, 10.5 million children under the age of five die every year, with most of these deaths occurring in developing countries. Lack of safe water, sanitation and adequate hygiene contribute to the leading killers of children under five, including diarrhoeal diseases, pneumonia, neonatal disorders and undernutrition. This means that Millennium Development Goal 7 -- to ensure environmental sustainability -- and its associated 2015 targets of reducing by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation are of vital relevance to children. MDG 7 is also crucial in relation to improving nutrition, education and women's status, and success in this field will thus play a major role in determining whether the world meets its MDG targets across the board. (excerpt)
Lancet. 2006 Oct 7; 368(9543):1212.A joint report from UNICEF and WHO published last month showed that 1.1 billion people do not have access to clean water and 2.6 billion people do not have access to basic sanitation. Last week, UNICEF launched its own report card on water and sanitation giving detailed statistics from each global region. It is grim reading despite UNICEF's optimism that some regions may now be on track to meet the water target in the seventh Millennium Development Goal--to halve the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and sanitation by 2015. Some areas, such as rural sub-Saharan Africa, lag way behind on the water target, and most regions are failing spectacularly on sanitation targets. The report's headline statistic is that 1.5 million children die every year from preventable diarrhoeal illnesses and many thousands more are disadvantaged by wide-reaching health and educational consequences because of these failings. Unfortunately, experience to date suggests that statistics like this numb the mind rather than shock it into action as there is a distinct lack of political will to do more. (excerpt)
BMJ. British Medical Journal. 2006 Nov 11; 333(7576):986.Unclean water is an "immeasurably greater threat to human security than violent conflict" across the developing world, says the latest annual report from the United Nations Development Programme. The report says, "'Not having access to clean water' is a euphemism for profound deprivation. It means that people walk more than one kilometre to the nearest source of clean water for drinking, that they collect water from drains, ditches or streams that might be infected with pathogens and bacteria that can cause severe illness and death." Each year 1.8 million children die from diarrhoea that could be prevented; 443 million school days are lost to water related illnesses; and almost 50% of all people in poor countries have at any given time a health problem caused by a lack of water and sanitation. (excerpt)
Lancet Infectious Diseases. 2006 Oct; 6(10):615.A leading expert recently expressed an ambitious view that waterborne infectious diseases could be consigned to history. Alan Fenwick (Imperial College, UK) points out that the continual donation of drugs and other inexpensive treatments by a number of effective global health partnerships could control many waterborne and vectorborne diseases effectively by 2015, which is the target for reaching the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). He insists that treatment will substantially reduce disease morbidity, while also lowering overall disease transmission. However, disease transmission will still continue unless we tackle the root causes of these diseases, which are poor access to safe water and basic sanitation. A new joint WHO/UNICEF report on the progress towards meeting the water and sanitation MDG targets provides grim reading. The report states that the world is barely on track to reducing the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water, and the sanitation target is likely to be missed entirely. By 2015, if the current trends continue, over 900 million people will not have access to safe drinking water and 2.4 billion people will be without access to basic sanitation. According to the report, current efforts need to be stepped up by almost a third to meet the water target and almost doubled to meet the sanitation target. (excerpt)
Journal of Human Ecology. 2005; 17(3):223-228.This study examined the chemical composition /quality of Well water in Ede Area of Southwestern Nigeria with a view to determine their suitability for human consumption. The pH, total dissolved solids (TDS) and cations concentration such as calcium (Ca/2t), sodium (Na+), magnesium (Mg/2+) and potassium (K+) of 21 well water samples were determined using pH meter, Electronic Conducting (EC) meter and Atomic Absorption Spectrometer respectively. The results of this study shows that potassium (K+) was the most abundant dissolved cation in the well water sampled in the area. All the dissolved cations such as Ca/2t, mg/2+ , Na+ , K+ and generally conformed with the recommendation of W.H.O maximum limits. However, since most of the inhabitants of the area depend on well water supply for drinking, the authors of this study recommended that waste disposal facilities should be sited in the outskirts of the towns. In this regard, the site of the well should be at least thirty meters away from any source of contamination. (author's)
Schistosomiasis and water resources development: systematic review, meta-analysis, and estimates of people at risk.
Lancet Infectious Diseases. 2006 Jul; 6(7):411-425.An estimated 779 million people are at risk of schistosomiasis, of whom 106 million (13.6%) live in irrigation schemes or in close proximity to large dam reservoirs. We identified 58 studies that examined the relation between water resources development projects and schistosomiasis, primarily in African settings. We present a systematic literature review and meta-analysis with the following objectives: (1) to update at-risk populations of schistosomiasis and number of people infected in endemic countries, and (2) to quantify the risk of water resources development and management on schistosomiasis. Using 35 datasets from 24 African studies, our meta-analysis showed pooled random risk ratios of 2.4 and 2.6 for urinary and intestinal schistosomiasis, respectively, among people living adjacent to dam reservoirs. The risk ratio estimate for studies evaluating the effect of irrigation on urinary schistosomiasis was in the range 0.02--7.3 (summary estimate 1.1) and that on intestinal schistosomiasis in the range 0.49--23.0 (summary estimate 4.7). Geographic stratification showed important spatial differences, idiosyncratic to the type of water resources development. We conclude that the development and management of water resources is an important risk factor for schistosomiasis, and hence strategies to mitigate negative effects should become integral parts in the planning, implementation, and operation of future water projects. (author's)
UN Chronicle. 1985 May; 22: p..Safe drinking water was provided for an estimated 345 million people in developing countries from 1980 to 1983, surpassing the record set during the entire period of the 1970s, according to a United Nations report on "Progress in the attainment of the goals of International Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation Decade." The report, a mid-Decade evaluation of progress achieved since the Decade was launched in 1980, will be considered later this year by the General Assembly. It notes almost 140 million rural and urban dwellers benefited from newly installed sanitation facilities, a prerequisite to improved health in most developing countries. An estimated 530 million additional people will receive reasonable access to safe drinking water and some 86 million people will receive adequate sanitation services by the end of 1985. Despite these advances, some 1,200 million people remain without safe water and some 1,900 million without adequate sanitation in the developing world. National, international and grassroots action on many fronts is needed to plan, design, construct, operate and maintain the services they require. (excerpt)
Natural resources committee calls for global water plan - UN Committee on Natural Resources second session, Feb 22-Mar 4, 1994 addresses water management and sustenance if mineral resources.
UN Chronicle. 1994 Jun; 31(2): p..A worldwide plan to avert an impending global water crisis was called for by the Committee on Natural Resources at its second session (22 February-4 March, New York). The strategy should define specific areas of priority to diminish significantly by the year 2010 the threat to freshwater resources, the 24-member expert body said in asking the UN Commission on Sustainable Development to undertake that task. "Water shortages are becoming a common occurrence in industrialized and developing countries alike", stated a report examined by the Committee. "The world may be reaching a water crisis situation of global proportions." The Committee also asked Governments to establish a dynamic and multisectoral approach to water resources management, including assessing and protecting potential sources of freshwater. As for mineral resources--another major concern--the Committee wanted the Commission to forge a dialogue between the UN system and the international mining industry to develop new approaches to ensure a sustainable supply of mineral resources. Workshops on mineral resource assessment projects were recommended. A report was asked on key advances in state-of-the-art technologies to minimize environmental degradation resulting from mining and related processing. (excerpt)
Habitat Debate. 2005 Sep; 11(3):8.At the Millennium Summit world leaders pledged to improve the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers by 2020, as proposed in Nelson Mandela’s Cities Without Slums initiative. Since its inception 30 years ago, the human settlements programme has taken significant steps on the conceptualization of slums and security of tenure. Yet the goals of security of tenure and adequate shelter have always remained on the periphery of the international development agenda, despite the Istanbul Summit of 1996. As the first major global instrument of the international human settlements community, the Habitat Agenda is primarily a declaration of good principles. But the broad range of themes it articulates in politically correct language allows any stakeholder to defend any argument. Indeed the Habitat Agenda falls short of providing a focused, results-oriented road map. (excerpt)