By 2020 the member countries of the United Nations (UN) should halve the number of people who don’t have access to drinking water and provide decent housing for at least 100 million inhabitants.
These are two of the targets proposed in the Development Goals of the Millenium project. To achieve them, developing countries will receive reinforced support from the UN.
“In the coming months, we will work more intensively and closely in search of realistic funding alternatives for housing and sanitation. Alternatives that will not upset each country’s macroeconomic stability,” affirms the director of the Project of the Millenium, economist Jeffrey Sachs.
Sachs, an adviser to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, met yesterday with Brazil’s Minister of Cities, Olívio Dutra, and the South African Minister of Housing, Lindwe Sisulu, in Brasília.
At the meeting they discussed the need for developing nations to intensify their exchange of experiences in housing and sanitation.
In September the UN will hold a summit meeting to ascertain whether member countries are on the right path to fulfilling the goals of the millenium.
To make progress in the area of housing, governments want their investments in this sector to be excluded from the expenditure side of the ledger used by international financial institutions to assess the financial soundness of countries.
At the meeting with Sachs, Brazil and South Africa proposed holding a seminar with developing countries prior to the UN summit. International agencies of cooperation and banks would also take part in this seminar.
The idea is to formulate proposals to present at the summit to expedite achievement of the goals of the millenium in the housing sector.