Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Privatisation fails to provide water for the poor

"Over 134 groups from 48 countries today called on donor governments to abandon support for a highly controversial agency of the World Bank focused on privatisation called the 'Public-Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility' (PPIAF).

The call comes a week ahead of a May 23 meeting of the 13 donors to the PPIAF. In an open letter, groups argue that PPIAF’s bias towards private sector ‘solutions’ to water access represents a poor use of aid money. Earlier this year, the Norwegian government stated that it will not support PPIAF in the future as it no longer believes it is increasing access to water for the poor.

In the letter to PPIAF’s remaining donors, signed by civil society groups and trade unions from around the world, including poor countries where PPIAF has funded water privatisation processes, campaigners say: “The evidence shows that the private sector has shown a great reluctance to commit finance to connecting the poorest people to clean, affordable water…. Our conclusion is that aid could be better spent and we ask donors to withdraw this funding accordingly.” "

But in the Middle East, water privatisation, promoted by the World Bank and USAID, continues to gain strength. WAKE UP!!!

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