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Water and Sanitation

Volume 455: debated on Wednesday 10 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps his Department is taking (a) to promote and (b) to finance access to water for all in developing countries following his Department's announcement of support for the human right to water. (109965)

In November, DFID published its global call to action on water and sanitation. This is our call to others—both international donors and governments in developing countries—to encourage them to do more. It highlights the need for all of us to invest more in water and sanitation, to ensure that this money is spent effectively and fairly and to put the right structures in place to make this happen.

Our message is that governments and the international community must organise themselves better and be held to account more effectively. To make this work we have stated that there should be one annual report to monitor progress towards achieving the water and sanitation Millennium Development Goal targets and one high-level global annual meeting to agree action. At the country level there should be one national water and sanitation plan, one co-ordinating group and one lead United Nations body for water and sanitation, identified at a national level.

We will be following up this call for action over the coming months.

DFID is to double its commitment to water and sanitation in Africa to £95 million a year by 2007-08 and more than double funding again to £200 million a year by 2010-11.

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what support his Department has given to public sector water providers in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. (113010)

DFID’s estimated total expenditure on water and sanitation was £221 million in 2003-04, an increase from £147 million in 2002-03. In 2003-04 the proportion of bilateral expenditure (£131 million) spent predominantly through governments, not for profit or humanitarian agencies was estimated at 95 per cent., based on a review of project documentation.

Updated figures for 2004-05 and 2005-06 will be published later in January 2007. Draft figures suggest the general increase in water and sanitation expenditure has been broadly maintained, with a decline in expenditure in Iraq offset by an increase in spend in Africa.

We are currently conducting an exercise to estimate the breakdown of bilateral expenditure in 2004-05 and 2005-06 by public and private beneficiaries, results of which will also be published in the updated report.