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Rich countries should stop funding water privatisation by World Bank, urge over 100 NGOs worldwide

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18 May 2007

Privatizing Water and Sanitation Services

Author: World Bank

[Provides papers and links on the subject of water privatisation]...Public sector utilities in developing countries have often not been efficient in providing access to reliable water and sanitation services…The Millennium Development Goals aim to reduce the number of people without access to water and sanitation in half by 2015. Unless the efficiency of service provision is radically improved, achieving this goal will be costly and virtually impossible…Evidence shows that the private sector, under contract with the public sector, has often yielded better results than public sector utilities alone. The ability of the private sector to deliver improved results depends heavily on the design of its contract with the public sector…

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15 May 2007

138 groups urge rich countries to pull the plug on World Bank’s push for water privatisation

Author: World Development Movement on behalf of Corporate Europe Observatory, FIVAS, Friends of the Earth Intl., Transnational Institute

Over 130 groups from 48 countries will today [15 May] call on donor governments and agencies to abandon support for the Public-Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility (PPIAF), a highly controversial element of the World Bank’s water privatisation agenda. The call comes a week ahead of a crucial meeting of the 13 donors to PPIAF... Earlier this year, the Norwegian government stated that it will not support PPIAF in the future as it no longer believes it is increasing access to water for the poor. In the letter to PPIAF’s remaining donors,...campaigners say: “The evidence shows that the private sector has shown a great reluctance to commit finance to connecting the poorest people to clean, affordable water…. Our conclusion is that aid could be better spent and we ask donors to withdraw this funding accordingly.”

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29 August 2005

Private Water Saves Lives

Author: Fredrik Segerfeldt, Cato Institute [USA]

Some governments of impoverished nations have turned to business for help, usually with good results... The privatization of water distribution has stirred up strong feelings and met with resistance. There have been violent protests and demonstrations against water privatization all over the world... However, the movement's criticisms are off base... True, many privatizations have been troublesome... But these mistakes do not make strong arguments against privatizations as such, but against bad privatizations.

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1 October 2003

[PDF] Are the debates on water privatization missing the point? Experiences from Africa, Asia and Latin America

Author: Jessica Budds, doctoral candidate in Geography & Environment at Univ. of Oxford, & Gordon McGranahan, director of Human Settlements Programme, Intl. Institute for Environment & Development, in Environment & Urbanization journal

This paper has two principal aims: first, to unravel some of the arguments mobilized in the controversial privatization debate, and second, to review the scale and nature of private sector provision of water and sanitation in Africa, Asia and Latin America… the paper is pessimistic about the role that privatization can play in achieving the Millennium Development Goals of halving the number of people without access to water and sanitation by 2015. This is...because neither publicly nor privately operated utilities are well suited to serving the majority of low-income households...and because many of the barriers to service provision in poor settlements can persist whether water and sanitation utilities are publicly or privately operated. [refers to Saur (part of Bouygues), Veolia, Thames Water (part of RWE), Suez, Aguas Argentinas (part of Suez), Aguas de Barcelona (Grupo Agbar), Biwater, Maynilad Water (part of Suez), Manila Water (joint venture Ayala, Mitsubishi Corp. & United Utilities)]

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