A Matter of Life: Investing in Sanitation – a Conversation with Jan Eliasson, Tony Lake, & Global Decision-Makers
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A Matter of Life: Investing in Sanitation – a Conversation with Jan Eliasson, Tony Lake, & Global Decision-Makers

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DATE: Friday, April 19, 2013
TIME: 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. EDT (18:00 – 19:30 GMT or convert time)
LOCATION: Online and World Bank Headquarters in Washington, DC

In 2007, readers of the British Medical Journal were asked to vote for the biggest medical milestone of the last 200 years. They chose sanitation. Modern sanitation has added 20 years to the average human life. Good sanitation is also economically sensible. In 2012, the World Health Organization estimated the global return on sanitation spending is US $5.5 for every US $1 invested. Where good sanitation exists, people are healthier, wealthier, and cleaner. Lack of access to improved sanitation costs countries up to 7 percent of GDP.

Yet, sanitation remains one of the most off-track Millennium Development Goals, with 2.5 billion people still lacking access, leading to thousands of child deaths every day. With the basic health and human dignity of several billion poor people at stake, something has to be done – today.

On April 19, UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson joined UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake, World Bank Group Vice President of Sustainable Development Rachel Kyte, and American Standard Vice President Jim McHale for an online conversation with key global decision makers about the economics and politics of sanitation.

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Executive Director, UNICEF
CEO, Sustainable Energy for All and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All
Vice President, American Standard
Deputy Secretary General, United Nations
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Alakananda Mohanty
United States
Menstrual Hygiene Management remains a highly siloed activity in India. How would you ensure to improve MHM and increase awareness, availability, accessibility, affordability, acceptability and utilization of menstrual sanitary materials in the country?
Aluko Olufemi Oludare
Government believe there is no vote in sanitation. Poverty is deterring many household in Nigeria since government only supports its software. Many public institutions lack toilets and sanitation is an emergency in Africa and Asia
Prof. Stuart A. Hoenig
United States
My experience in Mexico and the Middle East is that the greatest need is uncotaminaed water. The use of reverse-osmosis is just not actical, it is to expensivend complex. We have devoped a simple evpaporation system that is 5 time faster youal are you interested in more information?
Jonathan Kourgialis
United States
The lack of sanitation seems to be most prevalent in slums, where billions of people are living without adequate WATSAN services. What innovative technologies do you find most effective and how important is community involvement in any project within these slums?
Florian Demmler
As water and sanitation go hand in hand, and as 2013 was declared the International Year of Water Cooperation, how and what can international cooperation achieve for the sanitation of the poorest?
Likumbi Leonard Maseka
Nimpe Ernest
Who is a refugee?
Patrick Kamara
United States
I am a native born of Sierra Leone. A recent cholera outbreak left many deaths in Sierra Leone. Why the world bank turn away from Sierra Leone? visit www.safewatersl.org
Abou Abbe
Appreciating your work
Dave S
If we want better sanitation, immediately cut govt spending in all Countries by 75%, remove massively regulation and bureaucracy that stifles innovation, and allow private enterprise to find solutions, bureaucrats are not an answer.
Many unimproved toilet may create more havoc than no sanitation as do not provide barrier to pathogen transmission route. Government needs to focus more on such toilet eradication (septic tank drains in open, manually scavengers cleaned toilet, toilet inked with open drains,etc).
Gbolahan Ogunmefun
There are existing national sanitation policies in Nigeria today but their application could be a major set-back. What could be done TODAY,when all investment towards achieving a positive sanitation seems to have proved futile?
Kemanya Elias
We need answerea
Celso N E Oliveira
I want to know to what extend lecturers know about the Brazilian Program for Accelerate Growing (PAC in portuguese) and its sanitation sub program.
Samson Wachara
How accurate are the monitoring tools used to measure progress for MDG 7 (Target 7c)- Progress made on sanitation.
Isaac Seruwu
sanitation measures needs to be adopt in schools, to enable the sustainable. can WB support our doing work of promoting sanitation and hygiene awareness in schools and slum area here in Uganda
michael jackson
My thesis a water monetary standard is based on this idea. It insure these investments. Comment
Francis Moijue
Sierra Leone
Can we have a meaning and intrepration of sanitation to reflect rural, peri-urban and urban needs and reflections.
How are the WorldBank and other development partners working to get message of investment in sanitation across to high level politicians. How are we monitoring the realisation of financial commitments made by Governmemts in developing countries.
Young persons can act as agents of change. To what extent are development partners investing in programmes or supporting local initiatives aimed at encouraging interest in sanitation among the youth?
Lis Stedman
United Kingdom
What is the major barrier to achieving the sanitation MDG?
Ed Musariri
United Kingdom
One of the best ways to stimulate investment into water and sanitation is to quantify the benefits investment in dollar terms and come up with a cost benefit analysis.
Derek Reinhard
United States
Good to see waterless technology pursued by American Standard. Sound waterless technology is environmentally responsible (and more realistic), as well as easier to deploy due to less basic infrastructure.
Any thoughts about why there doesn't appear to be stronger demand on the part of individuals for clean toilets? Appreciate the example of pay-for-use toilets, but this still seems to not be in wide use.
Oxana Semenova
Russian Federation
On water and sanitation of which countries around the world is focused the World Bank programm? Because in Russian Federation there are also a lot of problems in water and sanitation of rural and cities areas.
Rachel McPherson
United States
I can't wait to see what solutions continue to emerge from the private sector.
Susana Sandoz
This hinged platic pan developed by American Standards, it is easy enough to be replicated by a small company in a developed world? would American Standards be able to release the copyright and even help small factories set up a production line?