Coalition bemoans water goal failures

The governments of both rich and poor countries are reneging on their commitment to halve the number of people without access to drinking water, says a coalition of NGOs.

The report, by WWF, Care International, Green Cross International, Oxfam, Tearfund and Water Aid, says that the majority of developed countries failed to increase the amount of aid they gave to water and sanitation projects between 1998 and 2002.

But the charities also blame governments in developing-countries. They say that Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Kenya, Indonesia and Guinea have not prioritised water at all. Tanzania and Uganda are two of the few countries praised for their policies.

"If the world continues at this snail's pace, billions of people will remain without safe water or basic sanitation, with little prospect of escaping poverty," said Water Aid director Ravi Narayanan.

The report has been published at the 12th session of the Commission for Sustainable Development in New York.

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