Climate Action: There Could Be 2 Billion Climate Change Refugees by 2100 #climatechange #climate #sdgs #globalgoals

And 1.4 billion by 2060.

By 2100, the human population is expected to shoot up to 11 billion people.

At the same time, the world’s landmass will shrink as rising sea levels swallow coastlines, displacing an estimated 2 billion people from their homes, according to a new analysis from Cornell University.climea

The world is already struggling to cope with the largest displaced persons crisis in history, 65.6 million people, and a crisis that’s orders of magnitude bigger will present radically different challenges.

 

Most immediately, countries will have to find a way to accommodate those displaced as they flock inward on remaining land mass and determine how to provide enough food, water, and other necessities when resources are strained by the other effects of climate change — droughts, storms, extreme precipitation, and so on.

“We’re going to have more people on less land and sooner that we think,” said lead author Charles Geisler, professor emeritus of development sociology at Cornell, in a statement. “The future rise in global mean sea level probably won’t be gradual. Yet few policy makers are taking stock of the significant barriers to entry that coastal climate refugees, like other refugees, will encounter when they migrate to higher ground.

By 2060, the authors estimate that 1.4 billion people will be displaced, more than four times the prediction of an earlier report.

This change reflects the growing understanding of climate change and its acceleration. A recent analysis found that sea level rise increased by 50% since 1993. Further, there are signs that natural buffers against climate change are reaching their breaking points. While carbon emissions stayed flat in the past three years, the amount of carbon in the atmosphere surged, meaning that less carbon is being soaked up by the oceans and forests.

All around the world, coastal places are dealing with the escalating dangers of climate change

In Miami, politicians across the political spectrum have begun preparing for a mass exodus.

The Maldives, a small string of Pacific islands, is building new islands for people to relocate to when existing islands get submerged at tremendous expense.

In Palau, another small Pacific island, the government created the largest marine reserve in the world to serve two purposes: create a large buffer against waves and attract global investment for inevitable relocation.

In coastal Bangladesh, rising sea levels, landslides, erosion, and cyclones are causing saltwater to seep into rivers, ruining vast sections of rice fields and rendering water undrinkable.

In Mexico City, the ground is sinking as the city’s aquifers get depleted from overuse, drought, overdevelopment, and warming temperatures.

The city of Guangzhou, a multi-trillion dollar powerhouse in China, is being inundated by rising waters and extreme precipitation. In 2016, the city experienced the most rainfall in history and the sewage systems of the poorer and more crowded neighborhoods are already becoming wrecked.

The authors of the report warn that humanity’s many vulnerabilities will be exposed as these problems intensify and it could force reconceptions of borders, human rights, global aid, and more.

“The pressure is on us to contain greenhouse gas emissions at present levels,” he said. “It’s the best ‘future proofing’ against climate change, sea level rise and the catastrophic consequences likely to play out on coasts, as well as inland in the future.”

Advertisements

Zero Poverty: Ending Extreme Poverty … in a Generation #2030Now #GlobalGoals #SDGs #Poverty #ZeroPoverty

zp

The Zero Poverty Project

1.3 billion people in our world currently live in extreme poverty.

From The Global Poverty Project:

These 1,300,000,000 individuals live on less than what you can buy in the US for $1.25 per day. You might think this buys more in a poor country than it does here, but actually, it’s a figure that’s been adjusted for purchasing power, which means that anywhere in the world, the $1.25 a day measure buys little more than enough basic food, clean water and cooking fuel to make two simple meals.

In the last 30 years, the proportion of the world’s population that live below this line has halved – from 52% in 1980, to 25% today. That’s a decline from 1.9 billion people down to 1.3 billion people.

At the Global Poverty Project we’re passionate about communicating these amazing achievements, and highlighting the opportunity we have to bring this number down to zero – within a generation.

This post summarizes how we can each play a part in realizing this opportunity – moving a world without extreme poverty from its current status of ‘improbable possibility’, to ‘likely reality’. This list is designed to introduce you to the key themes and issues related to ending extreme poverty.

How we think about extreme poverty

We know ending extreme poverty is a big and complex challenge. It has many causes, and there’s certainly no silver bullet or single solution, but we don’t think that this complexity means the challenge cannot be overcome. There are a huge number of smart and talented people all over the world in charities, business, academia, evaluation organisations,government and think-tanks who are building an evidence base of things that work, things that don’t and why.

The big three issues

To see an end to extreme poverty, there are three big issues that we need to see action on – governance, aid and trade. We know that we have the resources (economic, social, political and environmental) to see an end to extreme poverty. But, right now, the world works in a way that keeps some people poor, which is what we all need to focus on to see an end to extreme poverty.

Improving governance structures can ensure that decision-making works in favour of the world’s poorest people. At present, most discussions about governance are framed in terms of corruption. Rather than treating the problem of corruption as an excuse to stop investing in development efforts, we need to get behind those working in communities to counter corruption: by holding local leaders to account, increasing transparency, and ensuring that laws are applied. Corruption is not only a problem that needs to be tackled in poor countries. In rich countries we need to hold governments and businesses to account for any complicity in the process of corruption, or for unethically undermining poverty reduction through actions like avoiding tax or utilising vulture funds to recover illegitimate debts. We’ve posted more about corruption here, including an interview with leading experts here, or you can see the work being done by corruption-fighting organisations like Global Witness and Transparency International.

Next, we need to make sure that aid that’s given – whether through donations to charities or taxes to government – is spent on programs that really work. Foreign aid won’t end poverty – but it’s a vital ingredient that can be used to make investments in things like health, education and infrastructure – resources needed for countries and communities to lift themselves out of poverty and prevent dependence on aid in the future. We’ve written more about good aid here, here and here.

Ultimately, extreme poverty ends when local communities can trade their way to a better future. The amazing poverty alleviation that we’ve seen in the past generation has been led by countries who have joined global markets: in China 400 million citizens have been lifted out of poverty since 1980, South Korea has moved from aid recipient to aid donor by building industry and creating world-renowned brands, and Botswana has grown faster than any other country in Africa by wisely investing proceeds from its diamond mines. Currently, the potential of trade is limited by the rules which work against poor countries, and will need to be reformed before we will see an end to extreme poverty.

The Elephants in the Room

Beyond these three issues, climate change and resource limitations are the elephants in the room, threatening the potential end to extreme poverty. The impact of these issues can be seen in the Pakistan floods, and in the record food prices which will mean that 1 billion people go to bed hungry tonight. On both of these issues our challenge is distribution, not scarcity. We aren’t running out of food – there’s more than enough food on our planet to feed everyone. The problem is that the world’s poorest people can’t afford to buy enough of it. In order to realize the potential of developing populations, rich countries have to increase their efficiency in resource use, and support clean development.

Our role

All of the opportunities and challenges of fighting extreme poverty outlined above are technically possible and eminently affordable. Our role is to make them politically viable and increasingly probable.

We can make a start with simple changes to the way that we act on a daily basis and by learning more about the issues so we can make informed decisions, especially about the ethics of the products we buy and the effectiveness of the money we donate.

Beyond that, we can help others realise that it is possible to end extreme poverty, that we are already making significant progress, and that practical steps can be taken to overcome the challenges that remain.

From there, it’s about using your voice as a citizen to join the campaigns and initiatives of organisations fighting hard in your local community to change the rules and systems that keep people poor: ensuring that corruption is reduced, that aid is given in appropriate quantities in the right way to the right things, and changing trade rules to give the world’s poorest a fair chance to lift themselves out of poverty.

Most importantly, it’s about recognizing that the movement to end extreme poverty is led by people in poverty themselves. As we reflect on the changes of the last generation, we can look forward a generation and see a real prospect of extreme poverty not existing. Our role is to get behind the world’s poor, give voice to their aspirations, and work as citizens and consumers to make the end of extreme poverty the legacy that our generation leaves on this world.

Simon Moss, Co-Founder and Chief Operations Officer, Global Poverty Project

Partnership for the Goals: Foreign Aid Was a Big Winner in the Budget Trump Signed Last Week #2030Now #SDGs #GlobalGoals

Essential programs around the world will receive the funding they need.

 

For months, it looked like US foreign aid would face massive cuts, imperilling programs that support education in disaster zones, food relief in famines, and maternal health.

But, thanks to bipartisan leadership from US Congresspeople and Senators, those concerns have dissipated — for now.

US President Donald Trump signed a federal budget through fiscal year 2018 last week that dispensed with the steep cuts that the administration had called for and nearly maintains existing levels of foreign aid, even increasing funding in various areas.

Funding for foreign aid was $59.1 billion last year and this year it will be $55.9 billion — still a sizable cut, but much less than the $17.9 billion reduction requested by the White House.

Although foreign aid makes up less than 0.5% of all US spending, its impacts around the world are enormous — and enormously positive. Foreign aid has helped increase access to health care around the world, provide quality education to millions of children, and help communities become more resilient to climate change.

By largely maintaining current levels of US foreign aid, essential programs around will receive the funding they need.

Here are five takeaways from this 2018 budget.


1/ Health Funding Increased

faid

Last year, the Trump administration threatened to cut funding for all maternal health programs through the “Global Gag Rule” and GC mounted the “She Decides” campaign to counter this possibility.

Instead of getting cut by the US government, maternal health programs are getting an additional $15 million to provide women and children with essential services.

Notably, the bill rejects the Administration’s original proposal to eliminate funding for family planning, keeping funding for international family planning programs that are bilaterally funded by the US at $608M

Funding for global health security, which seeks to mitigate the threat of infectious and other diseases, increased by $100 million, and funding for efforts to fight tuberculosis, which has been proliferating around the world, increased by $20 million.

2/ Education Funding Increased

ef

Funding for the Global Partnership for Education was expected to get cut or stay the same, but it ended up receiving getting an additional $12.5 million on the 2017 commitment, bringing the US total contribution to GPE for 2018 to $87.5 million.

Globally, 264 million children are out of school, either because of conflict and crisis, poverty, a lack of teachers and resources, or some other reason. Girls in particular are prevented from completing their educations because of stigmas and barriers around the world.

GPE is working to ensure children in 89 countries get access to a quality education.

3/ Food Aid Increased

fai.jpg

More than 127 million people were on the brink of starvation last year, and funding calls to stop various famines were made throughout the year.

The US budget responded to this demand by allocating an additional $116 million to Food for Peace, to bring the total US commitment to $1.72 billion.

Food for Peace is a US program that seeks to end hunger around the world.

4/ Various Programs Remained Intact

intact

The 2018 budget maintained funding for a lot of different programs.

For instance, US efforts to combat HIV/AIDS will continue to receive $6 billion; funding for programs that promote access to water and sanitation stayed at $400 million; and agricultural programs that promote food security will continue to receive $1.93 billion.

5/ There Was Broad Bipartisan Support

Senators and congressman from both major parties stepped up to protect foreign aid funding.

In particular,  we applaud:

  • Hal Rogers, Republican Congressman from Kentucky

  • Patrick Leahy, Democratic Congressman from Vermont

  • Nita Lowey, Democratic Congresswoman from New York

  • Lindsey Graham, Republican Senator from South Carolina

  • And all the members of the Appropriations and State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs committees


It wasn’t all good news, however. A lot of essential programs will be affected by the net $3.2 billion in foreign aid cuts.

For example, $49 million was removed from emergency migration and refugee assistance, a staggering 98% cut. The world is currently facing the largest refugee crisis in recorded history and countries cannot afford to be withholding aid.

The Economic Support Fund, which supports emerging economies and establishes trade partners, was cut by $713 million; diplomacy programs were cut by $890 million; and funds for UN peacekeeping campaigns were slashed by $528 million, meaning other governments will need to pick up the slack.

Foreign aid fared better than expected in the 2018 budget, but this funding cycle will only be covered through September 30, and the negotiations on 2019’s budget, which will start at a 30% cut once again, have already begun.


Environment And Pollution: China Reaches 2020 Emissions Target* More Than 600 Days Ahead of Schedule #SDGs #GlobalGoals #2030Now

ch1

*But it hasn’t actually reduced its total amount of emissions.

China, the largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world, says that it has already reached its 2020 goal for reducing carbon dioxide emissions* set under the Paris climate agreement, according to the state-run news agency Xinhua.

The government said that carbon emissions as a unit of gross domestic product have fallen by 46% compared with 2005 levels, while the 2020 goal was a 40% reduction.

The announcement was made Monday by Xie Zhenhua, China’s special representative for climate change, at the country’s Green Carbon Summit, according to The Hill.

*But, here’s where the asterisk comes in: the way the achievement is framed obscures the fact that China hasn’t actually reduced aggregate carbon emissions.

Instead, the country’s carbon emissions are increasing at a rate that’s slower than the economy’s growth — hence the “as a unit of GDP” framework.

While that means China’s economy is becoming more efficient, it doesn’t mean it has reached “peak carbon,” the point at which a country’s emissions begin to decline.

China currently emits more carbon than the US and Europe combined.

The country plans to max out carbon emissions by 2030, according to The Hill, and will continue to burn more fossil fuels in the meantime.

But if the government continues to pour money into renewable energy and efficiency measures, then this target may also be reached ahead of schedule.

Zhenhua said that the country was able to reach its 2020 goal thanks to a carbon trading program it put in place in 2011 that required manufacturing companies in several states to limit their emissions. That program was rolled out to the rest of the country last year, according to The New York Times.

The government has also begun to invest heavily in renewable energy.

In the last year, China announced a $361 billion clean energy investment plan, shuddered pollution-heavy factories, called for the end of gasoline-powered cars, and assumed a more prominent role in global climate talks.

Despite these advances, China has been criticized for not doing enough to mitigate climate change and many environmental advocates hope that the country will set more ambitious targets under the Paris agreement.

Clean water & Sanitation: The World Won’t Have Gender Equality, Until It Fixes Water Inequality #GenderEquality #SDGs #GlobalGoals #PressForProgress #TimeIsNow

In many families, the burden of collecting water falls to women and girls.

cwa

By Carolynne Wheeler

What could you do with an extra five hours in your day?

Get some more sleep? Maybe hit the gym? Read that book you’ve been meaning to start?

For women all over the world, an extra five hours a day would be a rare gift.

As we mark World Water Day, it’s worth realizing that for a family of four living without clean water available close to home, five hours is the amount of time required for collecting water – a burden most often borne by women and girls, who are usually tasked with the difficult and sometimes dangerous daily chore.

Some 844 million people don’t have access to clean water close to home – that is, water from a clean source within a 30-minute round trip. Even at this distance, a family trying to gather the WHO-recommended minimum 50 liters (13.2 gallons) per person would spend five hours a day lugging 20-liter jerrycans to and from water points. That adds up to 76 days each year.

Take a moment to consider all of the other things that can be accomplished in 76 days a year. It isn’t hard to see that spending so much time just fetching water means girls miss school and fall behind. It means women are less able to work or otherwise support and care for their families. And it means families are more likely to make do with whatever they can find – leading to higher rates of illness from drinking dirty water and adding further to the caring duties of the women in those families.

This creates a deadly cycle of poverty which becomes almost impossible to escape, as girls who drop out of school become more at risk for early marriage, and they, in turn, have children who miss out on education and marry too young.

WaterAid’s State of the World’s Water 2018: The Water Gap reveals Uganda, Niger, Mozambique, India and Pakistan are among the countries where the highest percentage or largest number of people cannot get clean water within a half-hour round trip; in many of these countries, there is also a significant wealth gap in accessing water, where most or all of the wealthiest will enjoy household connections even as the poorest still struggle. In all of these countries, the burden of water fetching lies predominantly with women and girls, limiting economic prospects and prosperity.

Consider the example of Niger, one of the world’s least developed countries as assessed by the U.N., and a country where 44 percent of people live in poverty. More than half of the population doesn’t have access to clean water close to home.

A women’s rights activist and photographer from neighboring Nigeria, Aisha Augie-Kuta, recently traveled to Niger with WaterAid to document the struggles of the community of Norandé, in the volatile Tillabéri region, which regularly endures both flooding and drought, and pollution from the river, as well as political instability and occasional militant attacks. This community on an island in the Niger river has historically relied upon the river for drinking water and all other needs, and has struggled with high rates of child illness.

“Norandé was very dry. Everything was brown and gray. There is so much water in the river nearby, but it is not clean,” Augie-Kuta said, describing the visit as a trip back in time compared to her modern home in Abuja.

“The importance of water for women is huge,” Augie-Kuta said. “The girls in the village told me that before their school had a decent toilet, they would not go to school during menstruation, but that now they can attend lessons all month.”

With climate change likely to exacerbate the challenges faced by this community and so many others like it, there is much more to be done.

We cannot achieve gender equality as long as there is water inequality. The absence of this basic life necessity holds women and girls back from realizing their potential. We know what the solution is. It’s time to get to work.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of News Deeply.

This July, world leaders will meet in New York for a review of the United Nations’ Global Goal on water and sanitation, which aims to reach everyone, everywhere by 2030. WaterAid is calling for recognition that the U.N. Global Goals are everyone’s responsibility to deliver; for urgent action at all levels; for the inclusion of water, sanitation and hygiene in plans and programs around health, education, nutrition and gender equality; and for responsible environmental management that ensures enough clean water is protected and preserved for communities’ basic needs.

Responsible Production And Consumption: ‘Reverse Vending Machines’ for Recycling Bottles and Cans Could Be Announced in Days: Report #SDGs #GlobalGoals

In countries that already have the scheme, recycling rates are higher than 90%.

plastic bottles

A leaked report suggests the UK’s long-awaited plastic bottle deposit return scheme could be announced in just days.

It could be a massive step in the fight against waste in Britain — where we get through 13 billion plastic bottles every year, with 7.5 billion ending up in landfill, being incinerated, or in the oceans.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove had previously asked for research to be carried out into how effective the scheme would be. And, according to the Daily Mail , the leaker report shows an unveiling could be imminent.

A Nordic-style deposit return scheme would involve customers being charged a small amount extra when they buy their drinks, which would then be paid back when they return them for recycling. 

A new network of “reverse vending machines” would be placed in shops where customers could return their bottles and cans — with an estimated set-up cost of £15 million.

Recycling experts Eunomia previously said that a deposit of 15p would be enough to ensure 85% of containers were returned.

It’s reported that Tesco, Iceland, and the Co-op would be the first to receive the machines — which would be able to recycle plastic bottles, aluminium cans, and glass bottles.

The report said that launching the scheme could reduce litter from bottles and cans by at least 70%. It has also predicted that launching a deposit return scheme in the UK would create between 3,000 and 4,300 full-time jobs.

In countries with deposit return schemes already in place, recycling rates are higher than 90%. At the end of last year, environment minister Therese Coffey visited Norway, Sweden, and Denmark to see how their systems work, according to an online post from the Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). The system is also used widely across the US.

A DEFRA spokesperson said , in response to the Daily Mail article, that an independent working group had submitted its report to ministers, who would consider the evidence around deposit return schemes.

“We’ll announce a decision on next steps in due course,” they added. 

The news comes a week after a major new report published by the UK government warned that the amount of plastic in the ocean could triple in a decade, unless we make drastic changes.

The Environmental Audit Committee, an influential committee of MPs, said in December last year that a deposit return scheme would be “vital” in reducing plastic waste — and would cut the number of plastic bottles being thrown away by 700,000 every day. 

Meanwhile, London mayor Sadiq Khan also revealed this week the locations of the first four drinking fountains to be opened in the capital — in an effort to curb the amount of single-use plastic used by Londoners.

The first fountain was installed in Carnaby Street, while the next two will be set up in Liverpool Street station and another in Flat Iron Square in Southwark, reported the Guardian .

Food, Hunger & Malnutrition: Indonesia Measles Cases Prove Malnutrition Isn’t Just a Problem in Poor Countries #SDGs #GlobalGoals #Hunger #ZeroHunger #MalNutrition

Donors ignore malnutrition in middle-income countries, a new report finds.

indo

By Andrew Green

Earlier this year, as many as 100 children died in Indonesia’s remote Papua province. They were suffering from malnutrition when they became infected during a measles outbreak. Their immune systems were too weak to fight off the disease.

“Measles is not dangerous, it’s a mild disease,” the province’s military spokesperson Muhammad Aidi told the media in the midst of the response. “But because those children are malnourished, they can’t cope in that condition.”

Indonesia’s government has made significant attempts to fight hunger in recent years, committing new financial resources to the effort, improving infrastructure to ease the flow of food to remote areas and taking a vocal role in regional efforts to end all forms of malnutrition. But the measles outbreak underscored the scale of the challenge Indonesia and other middle-income countries (MICs) face when it comes to grappling with malnutrition – particularly within the poorest communities.

Around eight of every 10 malnourished children in the world reside in MICs, according to new research released this week by RESULTS, a non-profit advocacy organization. And poor children, who have not benefited from their country’s developmental gains as it moves into middle-income status, are disproportionately affected.

With global funding for nutrition already limited and donors increasingly withdrawing their support from MICs, the governments of those countries are often left to bear the full burden of implementing malnutrition programs. But comprehensively addressing hunger, particularly in poor communities, requires a significant commitment from governments that have myriad competing priorities.

The result is that malnutrition remains rampant – and might even worsen – in countries making the transition from low- to middle-income status.

RESULTS analysed the malnutrition situation in 89 middle-income countries between June and December 2017. The researchers excluded 20 countries the World Bank classified as being in a “fragile situation,” primarily because of ongoing or recently concluded conflicts.

The researchers concluded that “economic growth in these countries has not acted as a guarantee for equitable improvements in nutrition, health and the lives of their populations.”

Nearly half of the hungry people in the world – roughly 363 million people in 2014 – live in just five MICs: China, India, Brazil, Indonesia and Brazil, according to the International Food Policy Research Institute. Globally, RESULTS concluded there are 1.8 million child deaths annually in the 89 MICs they considered that are linked to malnutrition.

“Unless we address malnutrition in these countries, we are sure to miss the [Sustainable Development Goals], because this is where the true burden of malnutrition really is,” Anushree Shiroor, a senior policy advocacy officer with RESULTS and the author of the recent report, told News Deeply. The goals include ending hunger and achieving food security by 2030.

In the report, Shiroor outlined a number of factors that contribute to the high rates of malnutrition in MICs – and particularly lower-middle-income countries (LMICs) – and recommendations for how to begin to address the problem.

The report identifies two steps the countries, themselves, can take: Asserting greater ownership of the issue, which translates into political leadership and sustainable domestic financing, and creating a robust policy framework. In the review, RESULTS found that 58 percent of the LMICs had a valid nutrition policy or a development policy that prioritized nutrition. That number dropped to 39 percent among upper-middle-income countries.

Within the MICs, though, experts said country ownership was not enough to tackle the problem. In Indonesia, for instance, Dr. Diah Utari, an expert in nutrition at the University of Indonesia, said the government has been proactive about addressing malnutrition.

During the crisis in the Papua province, for instance, “the central government immediately sends aid in the form of food, health workers,” Utari told News Deeply. She also pointed to a bigger health budget and to the role Indonesian officials played in pushing the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ commitment last year to rapidly expand its efforts to reduce malnutrition.

Even a committed government will struggle to address all of the factors that contribute to malnutrition, she said. In Indonesia and many MICs, malnutrition is particularly linked to the educational status of mothers. Utari also highlighted the need to improve infrastructure, so rural communities have better access to a variety of food, as well as to health services. Failing to address these issues means not just that malnutrition will continue, but that it will disproportionately affect the poorest communities.

The domestic resources to tackle such systemic problems are often unavailable, though, and there are increasingly few other places to look for funds.

RESULTS found that donor funding for “basic nutrition” – already less than one percent of total overseas development assistance (ODA) – actually decreased in recent years, both in absolute terms and as a percentage of ODA. And much of that funding is no longer available to countries as they transition to middle-income status, anyway, despite the entrenched, persistent inequalities that governments either can’t or won’t address.

There is also an opportunity, she said, to look for alternative solutions, including financing approaches that might spur and multiply domestic investments and innovations like improved crop systems.

One of the first goals, though, is to ensure the global community understands this is something that needs to be addressed. “We need to get attention to the fact that malnutrition in middle-income countries is a huge problem,” she said.

“The examples of countries beginning to mobilize and momentum around malnutrition is increasing,” Shiroor said. “But that does not mean donors can just step away from their role on addressing nutrition in these countries.” Instead, she called for them to establish a clear, reasonable transition process that was realistic about domestic capabilities.

This article originally appeared on Malnutrition Deeply. You can find the original here

Clean Water And Sanitation: Why Clean Water Efforts Must Focus on These 2.8 Billion People #SDGs #GlobalGoals

And why this World Water Day marks the start of a new era.

The words “decentralized sanitation” might not sound like an exciting couple of words, yet they are of vital importance. And when Global Citizen and our partners saw them in the final recommendation document published March 14 by the High-level Panel on Water (HLPW) — a heavyweight body designed to drive urgent action around Sustainable Development Goal 6 — the organization knew the 215,000 calls to action from GC had made a historic impact.

The absence of this technical-sounding phrase in previous High-level Panel on Water recommendations risked world leaders working to achieve safe water for all, overlooking 2.8 billion people. Yes, that’s right — 2.8 billion people who live in impoverished communities with no pipes, running water or waste management systems to speak of — and thus often have no choice but to use “decentralized” sanitation systems, such as manual emptying of their pit toilets.

And most critically it meant that the strategy laid out by the leadership panel was not going to reach these people and help fix the dire situation of sanitation in their communities which causes 1,000 child deaths every day, and forces women to walk up six hours a day searching for clean water for their families instead of attending school or earning an income.

Yet thankfully the high-level group convened by the United Nations Secretary-General and the president of the World Bank Group, consisting of 11 sitting heads of state and government and one special adviser, heard our call.

In essence, their parting words released today urged leaders across the globe to ensure their activities to tackle the sanitation crisis go beyond simply those with the privilege of access to sewerage sanitation, but also to ensure we meet the needs of the 2.8 billion going without today.

This World Water Day also marks more important news for another marginalized segment of the population, that make up a mere 50% of the world: women. As it is the start of the Decade on Water, an initiative being led by the UN whose core focus will be addressing the challenges for water and sanitation for women.

A lack of safe water, sanitation and hygiene impacts entire communities, but disproportionately hurts vulnerable groups like girls and women. Without access to clean water, sanitation, and hygiene, girls and women spend a total of 200 million hours a day collecting water for their families. This is time they could otherwise be spending at school, earning an income, and thriving to their full potential.

Girls also miss out or drop out of school because they lack the resources and information necessary to manage their periods hygienically and with dignity at school. And they face physical and sexual violence as a result — in India, the 300 million women who lack access to toilets and must therefore defecate in public fields or bushes, are twice as likely to experience rape.  In Nepal, where menstruation is highly stigmatized, girls are often forcibly isolated in “menstruation huts” for the duration of their periods, which exposes them to the dangers of animals and environmental conditions, and can be fatal for girls.

These are just some of the negative consequences that women face daily through lack of safe water and sanitation, all of which the “Decade on Water” campaign seeks to turn the tide on. Yet the UN cannot do it without all of our help — including yours.

We invite you to stay with us over the next 10 years, so we can make ending extreme poverty a reality for all by 2030.

Clean Water & Sanitation: Beyoncé & Gucci Are Helping 120,000 People Get Clean Water in Burundi #Water #WorldwaterDay #SDGs #GlobalGoals

“Access to water is a fundamental right.”

bey

Beyoncé thinks that all people should have access to clean drinking water and through her nonprofit BEYGOOD4BURUNDI, she’s helping to advance that goal in the East African country of Burundi.

On March 22, the fashion brand Gucci committed $1 million to BEYGOOD4BURUNDI through its charity arm Chime for Change, which Beyoncé helped co-found along with Salma Hayek Pinault, according to People. Gucci is also a partner of GC.

The pledge will allow 80 wells to be built in the country, so that 120,000 people can have better access to clean water, People reports.

And it will help BEYGOOD4BURUNDI get closer to its goal of bringing clean water to 360,000 girls and women in Burundi by 2020.

Formed in 2017, the nonprofit has already constructed 35 wells in the country, according to its website.

The non-profit works with UNICEF to identify communities most in need, establish relationships with community leaders, and then build infrastructure.

In addition to the wells, the nonprofit builds hand pumps, teaches people about hygiene, and improves sanitation facilities in schools, its website states.

“Access to water is a fundamental right,” Beyoncé said at the time of the nonprofit’s forming.

“When you give children clean and safe water, you don’t just give them life, you give them health, an education, and a brighter future,” she added. “I am committed to helping drive lasting solutions to the water crisis in Burundi.”

Throughout Burundi, only 60% of the population has access to clear drinking water and millions of people have to walk miles to fill containers with water from pits or other water sources and then walk back.

Oftentimes, these water sources are not safe and can lead to waterborne illnesses like diarrhoea, according to UNICEF.

More than 50% of Burundi’s population is under the age of 18, and life expectancy in the country is currently 43 years old, one of the lowest levels in the world, largely because illnesses from contaminated water affect so many young people, UNICEF notes.

The burden of collecting the water, meanwhile, often falls on girls and women and changing this dynamic is a main focus of Beyonce’s campaign.

Because girls and women spend so much time getting water, they often miss out on school and other opportunities, which can set them up for early marriage, poverty, domestic violence, and other harms, UNICEF has found.

Globally, 2.1 billion people lack access to clean drinking water, and 800 children under five die every day because of waterborne illnesses, according to UNICEF.

Efforts like BEYGOOD4BURUNDI are helping to end this crisis one well at a time.

“In Burundi I saw myself, my sisters and my mother in the strength of the women and young sisters travelling miles to carry water for their families,” said Ivy McGregor, ‎director of Philanthropy and Corporate Relations at Parkwood Entertainment, in a press release.

“Today young girls in the ‘Heart of Africa’ are given the gift of hope for a brighter tomorrow through our multi-year partnership with UNICEF and commitment to support safe water access solutions,” she added.