Monday, 9 May 2011

Acceleration, as well as dynamic tactics needed for LDC poverty alleviation

We're in Istanbul this week for an event with people all over the world, the Fourth UN Conference on the Least Developed Countries (#LDCIV). They've come to assess the progress of the 48 Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and by the end of the week, form a Programme of Action for how to ensure these countries alleviate poverty for their people and ensure economic growth and prosperity.

So far, Ban Ki-Moon and the leaders of Nepal and Turkey addressed the civil society forum yesterday, and the main opening session of the conference itself took place this morning. We met with the Foreign Minister of Turkey Ahmet Davuto─člu and asked him to take urgent action, and told him all about the World Walks for Water and that 350,000 people had joined out call.

End Water Poverty is here to say that if countries want to make progress, they need to tackle the basics first and foremost. With preventable diarrhoeal diseases the biggest killer of children under five in Sub-Saharan Africa, and 4000 children dying globally every day - they did to sit up to the water and sanitation crisis and take action.

Further than the great humanitarian achievement stopping these deaths would be, it's also a sound investment for LDC governments and donors to make. As our members and supporters know, for every $1 invested in water and sanitation $9 is returned to the economy in health system savings and increased work output from the population. Emerging powers such as India have failed to take note at their peril - the World Bank estimates that they are losing 6.4% of their GNI as a direct result of the sanitation crisis there - in lost business, tourism and health system costs.

We're hosting and joining in with many events in Istanbul. Do read our manifesto for LDCs, come and find us for a chat in the civil society forum and follow us on twitter @endwaterpoverty.

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