Friday, July 13, 2007

Throw Money at It

The global safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene crisis is one which can surely benefit from additional financial resources. There is little donor fatigue in this sector - there is simply a dearth of donors.

If the Wealth and Giving Forum last week in Greenbrier, West Virginia has its say that may soon be changing.

As Tom Watson reports in onPhilanthropy:

The gathering focused on issues surrounding water - from disease and poverty to environmental and security concerns - and participating families were asked a number of questions during a polling session about their attitudes toward philanthropy. Just half-way through the conference, they were asked whether they'd be more likely to give their resources to water-related issues; 80% answered affirmatively.

Of the high net worth individuals and foundations present, 80% are now more likely to give to water-related issues. I'll settle for that.

Unsafe water and inadequate sanitation, and the mortality (between 3-6 million people die each year from unsafe water) and the morbidity (each year there are over 4 billion serious cases of diarrhea) they cause, are not controversial issues. This is not gun control or immigration, and what is possible (and required) is a massive, nonpartisan response by both developing and developed countries. The scale of the solution must match the scale of the problem.

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