Sir Jim Paice MP has met with public supporters of the international development charity WaterAid at the Houses of Parliament to discuss the international water and sanitation crisis, which claims the lives of 700,000 children under the age of five every year.
The South East Cambridgeshire MP used the opportunity to add his support to the WaterAid ‘everyone, everywhere’ campaign, which calls for no one to go without access to clean drinking water and basic sanitation by 2030.
Speaking after the event, Sir Jim said: “The UK’s own history shows that improvements in our health, welfare and economy have been closely linked to investments in water and sanitation.
“Cholera and other water borne diseases that a century ago blighted our towns and cities have been consigned to our history books, but we still live in a world where far too many die for want of something as simple as clean drinking water.”
The meeting comes after World Water Day, which took place on March 22, on which WaterAid released a report showing that just a quarter of global water and sanitation aid gets targeted at the world’s poorest countries – defined by the United Nations, as Least Developed Countries – despite those countries being the most in need.
The UK’s good track record of making sure aid money earmarked for water and sanitation projects goes to some of the world’s poorest communities could serve as an important example to other Governments attending the Sanitation and Water for All High Level Meeting in Washington DC, in early April.
It was also announced at the Parliamentary event by a UK Government Minister that the Secretary of State for International Development, Justine Greening MP, would be leading the UK delegation to the Washington meeting.
Rhian Lewis, WaterAid UK campaign manager said: “This meeting in Washington DC could set the world on the historic path of ending water and sanitation poverty. With the support of MPs such as Sir Jim we can ensure that the UK continues to lead from the front in tackling the international water and sanitation crisis.”
For all the latest news see Thursday’s (April 3) Echo.