Human Development Report 2006

Beyond Scarcity – Power, Poverty and the Global Water Crises

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The 2006 Human Development Report focuses on water and human development. Water is central to the realization of human potential. It is a source of life for people and for the planet. Clean water and sanitation have a profound bearing on health and human dignity. Inequalities in access to clean water for drinking and to water as a productive input, reinforce wider inequalities in opportunity. With competition for water intensifying, there is a danger that poor and vulnerable communities will become increasingly marginalized. The twin challenge facing governments and donors is to accelerate progress towards universal access to water and sanitation; and to ensure that water management policies strengthen the rights of poor households to access water resources.




Human development is first and foremost about allowing people to lead a life that they value and enabling them to realize their potential as human beings. The normative framework for human development is today reflected in the broad vision set out in the Millennium Development Goals, the internationally agreed set of time-bound goals for reducing extreme poverty, extending gender equality and advancing opportunities for health and education. Progress towards these objectives provides a benchmark for assessing the international community’s resolve in translating commitments into action. More than that, it is a condition for building shared prosperity and collective security in our increasingly interdependent world.


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