As a global leader in water, sanitation and hygiene Oxfam Australia has welcomed the Prime Minister’s announcement today of additional funding in this area.
The $97 million funding injection is aimed at improving access to water for the world’s poor. It builds on $32.6 million the Government previously committed to water, sanitation and hygiene projects across Sub-Saharan Africa, South and Southeast Asia and the Pacific.
“Access to water and sanitation are basic human needs and in July 2010 were recognised by the UN as fundamental human rights,” Oxfam Australia’s Director of Public Policy James Ensor said.
“The new funding announced today will contribute towards providing the 884 million people who are still being denied the right to clean water and 2.6 billion people who do not have access to adequate sanitation with these essentials.
“Left unchecked, the lack of access to water, sanitation and hygiene will further derail progress towards most of the Millennium Development Goals and hold back human development,” Mr Ensor said.
Oxfam also welcomed Australia’s further commitment of $50 million to the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP).
“In a world with enough food for all, close to 1 billion people still go to bed hungry each night. This announcement together with the new AgResults program announced by the Prime Minister a few days ago, show an encouraging commitment by the Gillard Government to help fix the world’s broken food system,” Mr Ensor said.
Oxfam also encouraged the Prime Minister to pay attention to how the GAFSP funds would be spent.
“This contribution makes Australia the fifth largest donor to the GAFSP. Australia should use this growing influence to ensure the GAFSP focuses its investment towards small farmers and fishers, who make up 80 per cent of the world’s hungry,” Mr Ensor said.
“The proven way for the Government to ensure effectiveness of the GAFSP is to include small farmer representative organisations in decision-making and monitoring of the Fund.”
Media contact: Raina Hunter, Oxfam Australia media coordinator – 0402 145 820