Eight ideas to fund access to water and toilets for all by 2030 | Source: The Guardian, September 19 2016 |
Some $114bn is needed each year to reach the SDG on water and sanitation. Our panel of experts share their ideas on how to raise the money
1 | Crack down on illicit financial flows and tax evasion
An estimated $1tn [£0.8tn] flows illegally out of developing countries and emerging economies each year – more than they receive in foreign direct investment and aid combined. Beyond bleeding the world’s poorest economies, this propels crime, corruption and tax evasion. Most of the money is lost through trade mis-invoicing – where trade invoices are manipulated to change the value to secretly move money across borders. Folks in the water and sanitation sector could help promote the importance of raising more domestic revenue by combating tax evasion and avoidance, and push for some of that money to go towards water and sanitation projects. Christine Clough, programme manager, Global Financial Integrity
2 | Increase public investment
The most important route towards financing sanitation and water is increased domestic government investment. For example, a recent estimate of the annual sanitation financing gap in Ghana is $93m [£71m]. Ghana’s GDP is around $38bn [£28bn] and its total tax revenues amount to about 21% of GDP – a pretty good percentage for a low- to middle-income country. But the Ghanaian government currently invests only $7m [£5m] yearly in sanitation: a tiny, trivial amount. If it were instead to invest 0.5% of GDP in sanitation, we’d be looking at about $190m [£145m] – more than enough to cover the country’s financing gap. The bottom line is that countries need to use equitable taxation to support the provision of basic services for poorer citizens. Guy Norman, director of research & evaluation, WSUP
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