Minister Lenihan launches UNDP Human Development Report
Conor Lenihan TD, Minister of State for Irish Aid, today launched the UNDP Human Development Report 2006 entitled Beyond Scarcity: Power, Poverty and the Global Water Crisis. He was joined at the launch by Seamus Brennan TD, Minister for Social and Family Affairs and senior representatives of the United Nations Development Programme.
The 2006 Report focuses on the importance of water. Unclean water and poor sanitation are the world's second biggest killer of children. Some 1.8 million children under the age of five die each year as a result of diarrhoea. This is equivalent to the under-five population of New York and London combined.
Ireland is one of the top five donors in terms of the percentage share of bi-lateral aid allocated to water and sanitation. The Government's support for water and sanitation projects tripled between 2000 and 2004.
Welcoming UNDP's focus on water, Minister Lenihan said
“Human development is inconceivable without reliable access to water and sanitation. Yet some 1.1 billion people (1 in 5) do not have access to safe water. Worse, some 2.6 billion are condemned to a life of indignity and ill health without basic sanitation.
For Irish Aid, reports of this kind show us where we are making progress and where greater attention is required. In 2006 Ireland has provided some 60,000 people with water and sanitation in Zambia. Similar programmes are supported in Lesotho, South Africa and Mozambique.
Ireland is clearly playing its part to address deficits in this area. We call on other donors to do likewise”
Note to editors:
This independent annual report looks beyond per capita income to other measures of human progress such as life expectancy, access to basic services, and equality of opportunity. Each year the report focuses on one aspect of development. This year the focus is Water and Sanitation. Copies of the report can be accessed at http://hdr.undp.org/
9 November 2006