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Calls for 2005 target for water provision for all

GLOBAL TARGETS for providing potable water and sanitation should be set for 2005, said the UK's secretary of state for international development Clare Short.

Speaking at the ICE, Short claimed that ambitious targets are required to stimulate urgent improvement in water provision and sewerage in the world's poorest countries.

She also called on developed nations to address water conservation.

'Provision targets could be achieved by 2005 if we push very, very hard, but sanitation generally comes second to water provision and is a long way behind. Sanitation requires a particular push, ' she said.

'If we focus, targets are achievable. If we wait a lot of people will suffer.'

Short added that expenditure of ú600bn ($950bn) is needed worldwide in the next decade to avert the risk of major health crises and improve standards of living. To meet targets, private sector investment and management expertise will be vital, she claimed.

Nepalese finalists of the Water Aid Youth Challenge met Clare Short recently.

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