WaterAid is waiting to hear more from the Australian Government about what last night’s aid cuts will mean for the 748 million people living without clean, safe water and the 2.5 billion living without adequate sanitation around the world.
“Last night’s announcements of additional cuts to international aid are worrying, but provide little detail about how this will impact on water, sanitation and hygiene – the basic building blocks to economic growth and poverty reduction,” said WaterAid Australia’s Director of Policy and Campaigns, Jonathon Gurry.
“Australians are caring and generous people, and can be deeply proud of the 2.2 million people our aid dollars reached with clean, safe water, and 1.9 million people reached with adequate sanitation over the last year,” Mr Gurry said.
“This has contributed to the global achievement of reaching 2.3 billion people with clean, safe water in just over 20 years. Across the world, governments are recognising the central value of safe water and sanitation to health, education, and gender equity,” Mr Gurry continued.
“WaterAid is encouraged by signals that this Government is committed to an aid program that prioritises health, education and empowering women and girls, but is anxiously awaiting further details about the extent to which these commitments are reflected in the new aid Budget.
It is well established that investments in water, sanitation and hygiene are fundamental to meaningful progress in health, education and for women and girls; the priority the new Government allocates to water, sanitation and hygiene is an important early test of their commitment to these new aid and development priorities,” Mr Gurry stated.
“WaterAid recognises that today many Australians are hurting, but we remind the Government that there are millions of people across the world living without access to clean, safe water and adequate sanitation. Investment in these most basic human needs is the precursor to a successful program of economic growth and poverty reduction. We look forward to receiving further information and clarity from this Government in the coming weeks,” Mr Gurry concluded.