This report explores why resources are not reaching those who need it most and why progress is slow, uneven, and unjust. Among the reasons mentioned in the report: political priorities lead governments to favor other sectors, improve places already served, or exclude poor and marginalized groups. Furthermore, aid is not well-coordinated, is only loosely targeted according to need, and its effectiveness is constrained by red tape and lack of alignment with government systems. The report recommends key actions for national governments, donors, international agencies and civil society to break the vicious cycle of low investment and poor performance and get off-track countries back on-track to meet the MDGs.
- High-level political commitments are prevalent in the WASH sector, but often amount to broken promises and empty rhetoric. In Sub-Saharan Africa alone, there is an estimated annual funding shortfall of US$15 billion.
- Public provision remains the norm with limited private sector investment.
- The 2008 financial and economic crisis threatens progress and sustainability of WASH efforts, given the likelihood of reductions in donor aid.
- Investments in countries, regions, and communities that need it most are compromised due to concerns about sector performance and absorptive capacity.
- National governments in developing countries need to increases resources to address WASH issues. Parallel efforts are required by donor countries and organizations.
- Donor countries and organizations should double global aid flows to WASH leading up to 2015, target aid on the basis of need, provide aid as grants rather than loans, and reduce the burden of red tape on developing country governments.