Linking poverty reduction and water management
The Poverty-Environment Partnership (PEP) is a network of bilateral aid agencies, multilateral development banks, UN agencies and international NGOs. It aims to address key poverty-environment issues within the framework of international efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. Knowledge-sharing activities undertaken by the PEP since 2001 underpin efforts to link poverty reduction and environmental management
This paper analyses the relationship between water management and poverty reduction. All aspects of poverty are considered: this is reflected in the analysis of water’s potential contribution to all of the MDGs, not just those that refer explicitly to water. The basic contention, supported through reference to a wide range of case studies, is that water management is a good investment: not only can it contribute to poverty reduction, but it can do so in ways that are affordable and, in many cases, generate wealth. Furthermore, it has a great potential to promote the health of local communities, which in turn will contribute importantly to poverty reduction. This potential is often not understood: the political prominence of water issues is all too often not translated into investment priorities. In particular,water management actions are poorly represented in PRSPs and in other key development strategies intended to focus national efforts on poverty reduction and attaining the MDGs.
The paper builds on the conceptual framework developed in earlier Poverty-Environment Partnership papers through the analysis of the contribution of different aspects of water management to four key dimensions of poverty reduction.
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This publication is a joint product of staff from SEI and UNDP, prepared on behalf of the Poverty-Environment Partnership