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The Missionary Oblates joined 35 multi-faith U.S.-based religious institutions in urging Congress to pass a faithful budget that increases funding above current levels for poverty-focused international development, humanitarian assistance and global health programs in the State and Foreign Operations Appropriations bill. The letter points out, “Using less than one percent of the federal budget, poverty-focused foreign assistance saves lives, lays the groundwork for economic growth around the world and fosters global human security. Its programs alleviate hunger and malnutrition, help communities access clean water and sanitation, facilitate rural development, educate children, combat deadly but preventable diseases and promote global health.”
MDG Target on Access to Safe Drinking Water Met! March 12th, 2012
“Today we recognize a great achievement for the people of the world. This is one of the first [Millennium Development Goals] MDG targets to be met. The successful efforts to provide greater access to drinking water are a testament to all who see the MDGs not as a dream, but as a vital tool for improving the lives of millions of the poorest people.”
– United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a statement responding to a report released by the World Health Organization and the UN Children’s Fund.
The WHO/UNICEF report concluded that the world has met the MDG target of halving the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water well before the 2015 deadline. However, while they praised this accomplishment, several media outlets and observers (including Stephanie Cappa on the InterAction blog), have pointed out that the related MDG target on sanitation is off-track and unlikely to be met by 2015.
The UN Human Rights Council experts dealing with summary executions, right to health, right to food and water and sanitation, Mr. Philip Alston, Mr. Anand Grover, Mr. Olivier De Schutter and Ms. Catarina de Albuquerque, released the following statement Friday:
The current humanitarian crisis in Sri Lanka gives cause for deep concern, not only in terms of the number of civilians who have been and continue to be killed, but because of a dramatic lack of transparency and accountability. “There is good reason to believe that thousands of civilians have been killed in the past three months alone, and yet the Sri Lankan Government has yet to account for the casualties, or to provide access to the war zone for journalists and humanitarian monitors of any type”, said Philip Alston, the UN expert on summary executions.
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