There is a genuine risk that the human development related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) will not be met if international donors continue to pursue single issue ‘global causes’ instead of building an aid system that will respond to the complex needs of poor communities.
Progress in health and education is dependent on access to affordable sanitation and safe water. And yet both donors and developing country governments have failed to recognise the interrelationship between health, education, water and sanitation. Global aid spending on health and education has nearly doubled since 1990 while the share allocated to water and sanitation has contracted.
New ‘integrated approaches’ to development are required. Decisions on aid spending need to respond to evidence of critical areas of deprivation and to the demands of the poor.