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  1. 1

    Protocol to prevent, suppress and punish trafficking in persons, especially women and children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.

    United Nations

    [New York, New York], United Nations, 2000. 11 p.

    Declaring that effective action to prevent and combat trafficking in persons, especially women and children, requires a comprehensive international approach in the countries of origin, transit and destination that includes measures to prevent such trafficking, to punish the traffickers and to protect the victims of such trafficking, including by protecting their internationally recognized human rights, Taking into account the fact that, despite the existence of a variety of international instruments containing rules and practical measures to combat the exploitation of persons, especially women and children, there is no universal instrument that addresses all aspects of trafficking in persons, Concerned that, in the absence of such an instrument, persons who are vulnerable to trafficking will not be sufficiently protected, Recalling General Assembly resolution 53/111 of 9 December 1998, in which the Assembly decided to establish an open-ended intergovernmental ad hoc committee for the purpose of elaborating a comprehensive international convention against transnational organized crime and of discussing the elaboration of, inter alia, an international instrument addressing trafficking in women and children, Convinced that supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime with an international instrument for the prevention, suppression and punishment of trafficking in persons, especially women and children, will be useful in preventing and combating that crime. (excerpt)
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  2. 2

    AIDS in the developing world: an interview with Peter Piot.

    Piot P; O'Rourke M

    AIDS Clinical Care. 2000 Jan; 12(1):1-3, 5.

    I am the Executive Director of UNAIDS and an Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations. I have an MD and a PhD in microbiology. I've been working in AIDS full-time since 1983, when I was in Zaire documenting the epidemic in central Africa, which was still quite new at the time and -- unlike in the West -- was being transmitted mostly through heterosexual intercourse. UNAIDS was established 4 years ago by the member states of the United Nations to coordinate the efforts of the richly diverse UN organizations in combating the AIDS epidemic. I think that it was quite forward looking for the member nations to establish this agency, because it wasn't entirely clear at that time that AIDS was going to become the major threat to development that it now represents in regions such as sub-Saharan Africa. UNAIDS is actually the secretariat of multi-agency effort including the World Bank, the WHO, UNICEF, UNESCO (UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization), and several others. Each organization is equipped to handle different aspects of the epidemic. The WHO focuses on blood safety, treatment of sexually transmitted diseases, and care for persons with AIDS. UNICEF deals with prevention of perinatal transmission, care for orphans, and mobilization of youth groups. UNESCO deals with disseminating prevention information through schools. The World Bank works on financing these programs. (excerpt)
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  3. 3

    2000 World AIDS Campaign.

    Joint United Nations Programme on HIV / AIDS [UNAIDS]. Intercountry Team for Eastern and Southern Africa

    SAfAIDS News. 2000 Mar; 8(1):9-10.

    In March this year in New Delhi, India, Dr Peter Piot, Executive Director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), launched the 2000 World AIDS Campaign. The 2000 Campaign aims to involve men more fully in the effort against AIDS and to bring about a new, much-needed, focus on men in national responses to the epidemic. (author's)
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  4. 4

    UNAIDS sponsored regional workshops to discuss ethical issues in preventive HIV vaccine trials.

    Joint United Nations Programme on HIV / AIDS [UNAIDS]

    Geneva, Switzerland, UNAIDS, 2000 Sep. 48 p. (UNAIDS Report; UNAIDS/00.036 E)

    In September 1997, UNAIDS convened a meeting of experts in ethics, vaccine research, and social sciences in Geneva to discuss the ethical issues arising from the anticipated conduct of HIV vaccine trials in developing countries. It was apparent that this area of research had begun to highlight ethical dilemmas requiring special attention, and that a better understanding of these issues might facilitate the progress of HIV vaccine trials. This meeting resulted in the identification of specific areas in which further discussion was deemed necessary, and the participants recognized the importance of these discussions occurring at the regional level. In addition, three background documents were written to further expand on the ethical theory underlying the issues that were identified. The three regional workshops were organized to facilitate discussion on the ethical issues surrounding preventive HIV vaccine research. The outcome of these discussions is reported here, and was used to formulate a draft guidance document on ethics in HIV vaccine research. This draft document was discussed further at a meeting in Geneva on 24-26 June 1998, which included, among others, representatives of each of the regional workshops. In addition, this meeting addressed possible revisions and additions to current international guidelines on biomedical research, and recommendations for future involvement of UNAIDS in HIV vaccine research. (excerpt)
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  5. 5

    The Nairobi Declaration: an African Appeal for an AIDS Vaccine, Nairobi, 14 June 2000.

    Nairobi, Kenya, UNAIDS, 2000 Jun 14. [2] p.

    We, the participants gathered in Nairobi, Kenya from 12 to 14 June 2000, on the occasion of a consultation organized under the auspices of the World Health Organization (WHO), the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the Society on AIDS in Africa (SAA) and the African Council of AIDS Service Organization (AfriCASO) to discuss ways to accelerate the development and future availability of HIV vaccines for Africa. Recognize the gravity and adverse impact of the HIV/AIDS pandemic and its role as the leading cause of illness and death on the African continent. Are aware that two-thirds of the estimated 34 million people with HIV/AIDS in the world today live in Africa and that the spread of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa has continued largely unabated despite numerous interventions. Are concerned that the impact of HIV/AIDS is arresting or reversing the important political and socioeconomic gains of the past decades in the fields of health, education, agriculture and other sectors in Africa. Are convinced that an effective HIV vaccine offers the best long-term hope to control the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Are desirous of contributing to the global effort to develop a safe, effective and affordable HIV vaccine(s) consistent with the principle of an international public good that benefits all human kind. (excerpt)
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  6. 6

    AIDS: palliative care. UNAIDS technical update.

    Joint United Nations Programme on HIV / AIDS [UNAIDS]

    Geneva, Switzerland, UNAIDS, 2000 Oct. 16 p. (UNAIDS Best Practice Collection; UNAIDS Technical Update)

    Palliative care aims to achieve the best quality of life for patients (and their families) suffering from life-threatening and incurable illness, including HIV/AIDS. Crucial elements are the relief of all pain- physical, psychological, spiritual and social and enabling and supporting caregivers to work through their own emotions and grief. Palliative care has relieved the intense, broad suffering of people living with HIV/AIDS but the latter brings a number of challenges to its philosophy and practice including: The complex disease process with its unpredictable course and wide range of complications, which means that palliative care has to balance acute treatment with the control of chronic symptoms; Complex treatments which can overstretch health services; The stigmatization and discrimination faced by most people living with HIV/AIDS; Complex family issues, such as infection of both partners; Role reversal in families, such as young children looking after their parents; Burdens on health care workers. (excerpt)
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  7. 7

    The business response to HIV / AIDS: impact and lessons learned.

    Daly K

    Geneva, Switzerland, Joint United Nations Programme on HIV / AIDS [UNAIDS], 2000. [78] p.

    This publication follows on from the report "Business Response to HIV/AIDS: Innovation and Partnerships" published in 1997. With the increased knowledge and experience of business responses available today, there is a need to update the available statistical information, to provide further evidence of the need for action, and to document new case studies. Therefore, this report aims to provide assistance to business and associated partners in recognising the business case for further action against HIV/AIDS in the workplace and beyond. This is achieved through providing evidence of the impact that HIV/AIDS has on business activities and by highlighting the lessons learned from past and current responses. Guidance is provided in the form of policy tools, case studies and an examination of how to undertake successful partnerships in response to HIV/AIDS. This publication does not seek to provide standard models but tools to guide effective, efficient and needs-specific responses to HIV/AIDS. It is divided into five sections: A summary of the background information on HIV/AIDS, facts and trends, followed by a brief description of the response to date by the public and non-governmental sectors; A presentation of the impact that HIV/AIDS has on business, at the macroeconomic and individual company levels, providing the business case for early action against HIV/AIDS; An overview of the broad areas of activity by business in response to HIV/AIDS, with guidance on how to undertake HIV/AIDS policies and programmes; An examination of the factors that create and maintain successful partnerships in response to HIV/AIDS; The provision of 17 profiles of business activities in response to the disease, identifying the key lessons learned and providing models of good practice. (excerpt)
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  8. 8

    Guide to the strategic planning process for a national response to HIV / AIDS. 4. Resource mobilization.

    Joint United Nations Programme on HIV / AIDS [UNAIDS]

    Geneva, Switzerland, UNAIDS, 2000 Aug. 19 p. (UNAIDS Best Practice Collection. Key Material; UNAIDS/00.21E)

    The major focus of this module is on 'mobilization of resources' and it should primarily be read or used in conjunction with each of the first three modules. Those who will use it are the situation analysis and/or the response analysis team, and the team responsible for the formulation of the strategic plan. However there will also from time to time be a need to secure resources after the formulation of the strategic plan, for instance to support the expansion of emerging successful strategies, or to supplement shortfall in funding for a priority strategy or a catalytic project. This module will therefore also deal with relevant approaches, techniques and methods for that purpose. Following an overview and definition of resources and resource partners, the module: highlights the ways in which resources are effectively mobilized through a strategic planning process; describes specific approaches to mobilization of 'additional' resources in the course of the implementation of the strategic plan. (excerpt)
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  9. 9

    The role of name-based notification in public health and HIV surveillance.

    Joint United Nations Programme on HIV / AIDS [UNAIDS]

    Geneva, Switzerland, UNAIDS, 2000 Jul. 47 p. (UNAIDS Best Practice Collection. Key Material; UNAIDS/00.28E)

    Surveillance is the radar of public health. Nevertheless, its precise contours and justifications remain a matter of contention. Although the World Health Organization (WHO) Epidemiological Surveillance Unit in the Division of Communicable Diseases has defined disease surveillance quite broadly, most public health authorities, such as the United States Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) and the World Health Assembly, typically identify three key elements of surveillance. Surveillance involves the ongoing, systematic collection of health data, the evaluation and interpretation of these data for the purpose of shaping public health practice and outcomes, and the prompt dissemination of the results to those responsible for disease prevention and control. Surveillance, then, encompasses more than just disease reporting. "The critical challenge in public health surveillance today," conclude two prominent figures who have helped to define surveillance in the United States, "remains the ensurance of its usefulness." Two issues emerge from this understanding of surveillance. The first entails a question of efficacy. The second involves matters of privacy. Although conceptually distinct, the two are nevertheless intimately related. While the necessities of surveillance may justifiably limit some elements of privacy, such limitations are only justifiable to the extent that they in fact benefit the public's health. (excerpt)
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  10. 10

    AIDS and HIV infection: information for United Nations employees and their families. Revised.

    Mikulencak M

    Geneva, Switzerland, Joint United Nations Programme on HIV / AIDS [UNAIDS], 2000 Apr. [46] p. (UNAIDS Best Practice Collection. Key Material)

    This booklet is a straightforward and practical resource, designed to give you and your families the most up-to-date information available on HIV and AIDS, such as: basic facts about HIV/AIDS, how it is transmitted and how it is not transmitted; ways to protect yourselves and your families against infection; advice on HIV antibody testing and how to cope with the disease if you or a family member test positive; a global overview of the epidemic and the UN's response to AIDS at international and country levels; and a list of valuable resources to direct you and your family to additional information or support services. This booklet also contains the United Nations HIV/AIDS Personnel Policy. It is important that each of us be aware of the policy and be guided by it in our daily lives. I urge you to seek out additional information and to stay informed. The United Nations Staff Counsellors and the United Nations Medical Directors, both part of the Office of Human Resource Management, are available to answer your questions. (excerpt)
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  11. 11

    The male condom. UNAIDS technical update.

    Joint United Nations Programme on HIV / AIDS [UNAIDS]

    Geneva, Switzerland, UNAIDS, 2000 Aug. [10] p. (UNAIDS Best Practice Collection; UNAIDS Technical Update)

    The transmission of HIV and other STDs during sexual intercourse can be effectively prevented when quality condoms are used correctly and consistently. Studies on serodiscordant couples (only one of whom is HIV-positive) have shown that, with regular sexual intercourse over a period of two years, partners who consistently used condoms had a near zero risk of HIV infection. Condoms -- sheaths covering the erect penis -- have existed in one form or another for many centuries, for use in sexual intercourse to prevent both infection and pregnancy. It was only in the 1930s, though, when latex rubber was developed, that mass production of condoms was made possible. Although the use of condoms to prevent pregnancy declined in the 1960s with the introduction of the contraceptive pill, their popularity has risen sharply since the early 1980s, when it was realized that they could prevent transmission of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. (excerpt)
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  12. 12

    Ethical considerations in HIV preventive vaccine research. UNAIDS guidance document.

    Joint United Nations Programme on HIV / AIDS [UNAIDS]

    Geneva, Switzerland, UNAIDS, 2000 May. 48 p. (UNAIDS/04.07E)

    In the present document, UNAIDS seeks to offer guidance emanating from this process. This document does not purport to capture the extensive discussion, debate, consensus, and disagreement which occurred at these meetings. Rather it highlights, from UNAIDS' perspective, some of the critical elements that must be considered in HIV vaccine development activities. Where these are adequately addressed, in UNAIDS' view, by other existing texts, there is no attempt to duplicate or replace these texts, which should be consulted extensively throughout HIV vaccine development activities. Such texts include : the Nuremberg Code (1947); the Declaration of Helsinki, first adopted by the World Medical Association in 1964 and subsequently amended in 1975, 1983, 1989 and 1996; the Belmont Report - Ethical Principles and Guidelines for the Protection of Human Subjects of Research, issued in 1979 by the US National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research; the International Ethical Guidelines for Biomedical Research Involving Human Subjects, issued by the Council for International Organizations of Medical Sciences (CIOMS) in 1993 (and developed in close cooperation with WHO); the World Health Organization's Good Clinical Practice (WHO GCP) Guideline (1995); and the International Conference on Harmonisation's Good Clinical Practice (ICH GCP) Guideline (1996). It is hoped that this document will be of use to potential research participants, investigators, community members, government representatives, pharmaceutical companies, and ethical and scientific review committees involved in HIV preventive vaccine development. It suggests standards, as well as processes for arriving at standards, and can be used as a frame of reference from which to conduct further discussion at the international, national, and local levels. (excerpt)
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  13. 13

    Evaluation of the 100% Condom Programme in Thailand. UNAIDS case study.

    Joint United Nations Programme on HIV / AIDS [UNAIDS]; Thailand. Ministry of Public Health. AIDS Division

    Geneva, Switzerland, UNAIDS, 2000 Jul. 47 p. (UNAIDS Case Study; UNAIDS/00.18E)

    Thailand was the first Asian nation to recognize that it had a major HIV/AIDS problem, a problem so serious as to deserve priority on the national agenda. While sporadic testing among female sex workers, injecting drug users (IDUs), and men having sex with men detected little HIV through the end of 1987, the rapid growth of HIV infections among IDUs in early 1988 spurred efforts to monitor the epidemic systematically. By mid-1989, a national sentinel serosurveillance system had been established. In the first round of testing in 14 provinces conducted in June 1989, high infection levels were detected among sex workers in the country's northern provinces, especially among sex workers in brothels. By June 1990, with the system expanded to include all 73 provinces, HIV prevalence among brothel-based sex workers had risen from 3.1 per cent in June 1989 to 9.3 per cent nationally (provincial median) and was climbing fast. By June 1991, it had grown to 15.2 per cent. Prevalence was also growing rapidly among young Thai men - who were tested when conscripted into the military at age 21 - from 0.5 per cent in November 1989 to 3.0 per cent in November 1991. Studies of behaviour and HIV infection among these conscripts and other populations soon demonstrated that most new HIV infections in Thailand were occurring through commercial sex. (excerpt)
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  14. 14

    Microcredit: moving women forward - Microcredit Summit Campaign - Brief article.

    Hughes D

    UN Chronicle. 2000 Summer; 37(2):[3] p..

    Elvia is 25. She is a single mother in Guatemala, a country where the non-governmental organization CARE reports that approximately 20 per cent of women under 18 become unwed mothers. Elvia comes from a large, poor family (11 brothers and sisters). She became pregnant at 19 and was abandoned by the baby's father. She later took loans from CARE and has created a sewing and chicken-raising business. With her mother, she sells 600 chickens every seven weeks. She vows to make sure her six-year-old daughter does not make the same mistakes she has made. It was with women like Elvia in mind that more than 2,900 people from 137 countries gathered from 2 to 4 February 1997 at the Microcredit Summit in Washington, D.C. The delegates launched a nine-year campaign to reach 100 million of the world's poorest families, especially the women of those families, with credit for selfemployment and other financial and business services by the year 2005. (excerpt)
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  15. 15

    Reproductive health emergency assistance - United Nations Population Fund airlift to Eritrea - Brief article.

    Rutsch H

    UN Chronicle. 2000 Summer; 37(2):[1] p..

    The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) on 22 June began airlifting life-saving motherhood and reproductive health supplies to help Eritreans displaced by the recent fighting with Ethiopia. UNFPA's emergency assistance, including home delivery kits and tools for blood transfusions, will help reduce maternal and child deaths and unwanted pregnancies for some 450,000 displaced persons for about three months. The reproductive health kit was first used in the Great Lakes region of Africa in 1996. Since then, UNFPA has responded to emergencies in 33 countries and territories. (excerpt)
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  16. 16

    WHO offers health tools for survival - action plan for Horn of Africa - Brief article.

    Rutsch H

    UN Chronicle. 2000 Summer; 37(2):[1] p..

    The World Health Organization (WHO) on 9 June launched an action plan to save 13.4 million people in the drought-ravaged Horn of Africa from plummeting into a major health crisis. WHO said that even if the severe drought lifted, the people in the region, already worn down by natural and man-made disasters, would not be able to save themselves unless health was targeted. According to the agency, an investment of just $25 million would substantially reduce death and illness from preventable diseases and save thousands of lives in the seven affected countries: Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, the Sudan and Uganda. WHO's action plan aims to reduce the countries' vulnerability, improving the population's basic level of health by helping health professionals throughout the region improve the quality of what little water there is, combat severe malnutrition, and crack open essential access to basic health services such as immunization. The new plan includes community-based epidemic surveillance projects, which enlist local networks in reporting on disease out breaks, resulting in rapid diagnosis and response. (excerpt)
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  17. 17

    'No comprehensive protection for IDPs'.

    Rutsch H

    UN Chronicle. 2000 Spring; 37(1):[2] p..

    Noting with concern the shortfall in funding for refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Africa, the Security Council on 13 January called on the international community to provide the necessary financial resources, taking into account the substantial needs in the continent. Following a briefing by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Sadako Ogata, the Council underlined the unacceptability of using refugees to achieve military purposes in the country of asylum or in the country of origin. It also condemned the deliberate targeting of civilians and practices of forced displacement. Gravely concerned that the alarmingly high numbers of refugees and IDPs did not receive sufficient protection and assistance, the Council underlined the importance of safe and unhindered access of humanitarian personnel to civilians in armed conflict. (excerpt)
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  18. 18

    Yearnings of the young.

    UN Chronicle. 2000 Spring; 37(1):[3] p..

    Demography is not destiny, but this is a formidable challenge -- not so much because of the sheer number of people as because of the context of poverty and deprivation in which they will have to live unless we take decisive action now. If I had one wish for the new millennium, it would be that we treat this challenge as an opportunity for all, not a lottery in which most of us will lose. Young people are a source of creativity, energy and initiative, of dynamism and social renewal. They learn quickly and adapt readily. Given the chance to go to school and find work, they will contribute hugely to economic development and social progress. (excerpt)
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  19. 19

    Africa: impact of AIDS.

    Rutsch H

    UN Chronicle. 2000 Spring; 37(1):[1] p..

    The Security Council on 10 January held an open debate on the impact of AIDS on peace and security in Africa. The historic session, during which 40 speakers presented their views, marked the first time that the Council discussed a health issue as a security threat. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said the impact of AIDS in Africa was no less destructive than that of warfare itself. Although HIV/AIDS was a global problem, the fight against AIDS in Africa was an immediate priority. Overwhelming the continent's health services, creating millions of orphans and decimating health workers and teachers, AIDS was causing socio-economic crises which, in turn, threatened political stability. (excerpt)
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  20. 20

    Mongolia's 'One World UN Conferences Series' empowers youth.

    UN Chronicle. 2000 Spring; 37(1):[2] p..

    In the 1990s, the United Nations held a number of world conferences to address urgent problems faced by all Member States. These high-profile meetings forged a global consensus for new development agendas and strategies in preparing for the new century. The Government of Mongolia has taken a number of follow-up actions, in collaboration with its development partners, to implement the policies articulated at the global conferences. One such innovative project, initiated by the Government of Mongolia and implemented in dose cooperation with UN agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) represented in the capital Ulaanbaatar, is the "One World UN Conferences Series". Consisting of six national conferences, the project emerged as a national response to the United Nations objective to promote and ensure an integrated and coordinated implementation and follow-up to major UN conferences and summits of the 1990s. The Series covered the conferences on children, human rights, population, social development and women, dosing in June 1999 with a "Millennium Summit". (excerpt)
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  21. 21

    [Improvement of reproductive health services in rural China: approaches and entry points]

    Zhang K; Liu Y

    Chinese Primary Health Care. 2000; 14(9):11-14.

    To set up the research priorities for the broader reproductive health programmes, the World Health Organization (WHO) has given a high priority to planning and programming for reproductive health, which aims at improvement of the delivery of reproductive health services. In 1998, with a financing support by Ford Foundation, the Foreign Loan Office of the China Ministry of Health (MoH) initiated a program in poor rural areas of China entitled reproductive health improvement project (RHIP) in 4 of the 71 World Bank/MoH of China "Health VIII Project" Counties. This paper reports the approaches and entry points of RHIP: (1) Participatory planning; (2) Operations research; and (3) Listening to women's voice at the rural communities. It is expected that these approaches and entry points will be useful for improvement of reproductive health services in other rural areas of China. (author's)
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  22. 22

    Contracts, concessions and corruption in the water sector.

    Hall D

    Habitat Debate. 2000; 6(3):[5] p..

    Large-scale corruption in developed and developing countries is closely connected to contracting-out, concessions, and privatization. The encouragement of privatization of public services and infrastructure by the World Bank and others has multiplied the potential scale of this business. At the same time it has multiplied the incentives for multinational companies active in these sectors to offer bribes in order to secure concessions and contracts. One of the sectors most at risk is water and sanitation. The concessions invariably involve long-term monopoly supply of an essential service, with considerable potential profit. Often, major construction works are involved, which are themselves a source of profit. (excerpt)
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  23. 23

    Water for thirsty cities is demand management the solution?

    Ray K

    Habitat Debate. 2000; 6(3):[4] p..

    Africa and Asia are the most rapidly urbanizing regions in the world. The city authorities in these regions are often overwhelmed by this growth and the burgeoning pressure on public services. A recent report of the United Nations Secretary General states that at the current rate of progress, providing safe water to all cannot be anticipated before 2050 in Africa and 2025 in Asia. That is still a generation away! In the meantime, those without access to public supplies — the urban poor — will continue to pay a heavy price for lack of easy access to safe water. Let us take a closer look at the situation in Africa which is the fastest urbanizing continent today. Africa’s urban population will nearly quadruple from 138 million in 1990 to 500 million by 2020. How is it managing its growing urban water demand from the competing industrial, commercial and domestic sectors? The answer is not simple. The task of the city manager is made more complex by the fact that most of the rapidly growing cities are located in water stress or water scarce regions, with diminishing per capita water availability. Several of the larger cities on the continent (Johannesburg, Dakar and Nairobi, for example), have outgrown the capacity of local sources and are forced to carry water from a distance of 200 to 600 kilometres. Others (such as Abidjan, Lusaka and Addis Ababa) are drawing deeper and deeper, often over-abstracting the ground aquifers. (excerpt)
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  24. 24

    Water crisis linked to poor governance, says Toepfer.

    Habitat Debate. 2000; 6(3):[4] p..

    Cities concentrate people in high-density settlements creating severe demand for services like water supply and sanitation. It is really a matter of concern that some 95 per cent of the urban population increase over the next 30 years will be in less developed countries. Out of 19 megacities of the world, 15 are in developing countries. Cities are increasingly forced to transport water from longer distances, often beyond natural watersheds and even across national boundaries, as in the case of Johannesburg. In other cases, over-exploitation of groundwater has resulted in major environmental problems. Mexico City, for example, has sunk more than 10 metres in the last 70 years. Thailand is facing irreversible damage to freshwater aquifers from saltwater intrusion, caused by over-abstraction of groundwater. (excerpt)
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  25. 25

    Tapping traditional systems of water management.

    Singh N

    Habitat Debate. 2000; 6(3):[4] p..

    In ancient times, water was acknowledged and regarded as a valuable resource. In fact, almost every ancient culture has regarded water as sacred and essential to life. In the 20th Century, however, the advent of the industrial revolution and the consequent dawn of Western materialism have led to a non-traditional commodity-based perception of nature’s resources. This has resulted in a price tag being placed on water and, ironically, a devaluation in the intrinsic worth of water. Western materialistic society scorned ancient values, which regarded nature as sacred. Just as the 20th Century focussed on the importance of oil, the 21st Century is likely to be focussed on issues concerning safe and adequate drinking water. The most important step in the direction of finding solutions to issues of water and environmental conservation is to change people’s attitudes and habits. If the world continues to treat water as a cheap resource that can be wasted, not even the best policies and technologies can help solve the problems. If humanity continues to feel that as long as you can pay for it, water will be there to use and abuse, no major breakthroughs in water conservation can take place. (excerpt)
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