September 16, 2019
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 In GLIMUN2019: Water Access

Name: Om Shah

Country: United States of America

Committee: ECOSOC Environmental (UNEP)

Topic: Access to Water

United States of America – Access to Water

This year, the Global Humanitarian Assistance Report forecasts that the member states of the United Nations will spend over $160 billion on humanitarian aid throughout the world. [1, 2] Despite this, 1 out of every 4 humans lack access to clean water, causing nearly half a million deaths through disease each year. [3] Furthermore, 785 million of those people are not able to consistently access potable water in any form. [4] It is quite obvious that the methods currently being employed are not efficient. Regardless of the governments’ good intentions, the current system is clearly ineffective. In order to make the system great again, UNEP must approach the problem in a vastly different manner.

The United States of America believes that water disparity throughout the world must be viewed through an economic lens if a meaningful solution is to be found. President Donald J. Trump is a firm believer that just like any other economic problem, the private sector is far better equipped than the government to combat this issue. [5] This is because firms are forced to innovate and improve their services in order to stay competitive in the market. In contrast, the current government aid based system has almost no incentive to better itself. While some may postulate that governments maximize their efficiency in order to assist a greater number of individuals, this claim has repeatedly shown itself to be false. At the end of the day, firms have been proven to minimize costs far more efficiently than the public sector. [6]

However, the aforementioned argument for private-sector efficiency would crumble at its foundations if the firm had no incentive to be in the market in the first place. Because there is no feasible way for firms to create a profit by donating infrastructure to communities in need, the UN must step in to create an incentive for these firms. In order to create a profit for these firms, the United States of America would like to propose the creation of the Lasting International Fund for Equity (LIFE). This fund will comprise of donations from any UN member state or private organization willing to donate funds.

Unlike many other proposals, however, LIFE will not create any extra costs for member states. Instead, the United States of America would like to propose a reallocation of funds. In the Global Water Strategy, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) advocates for transitioning to zero humanitarian aid relating to water access. [7] The United States of America recommends that all UN member states follow this recommendation. These saved funds from each country would then be allocated to LIFE, creating a common UN fund with the sole purpose of creating water infrastructure in high priority countries, at no extra cost to member states.

The objectives of LIFE will be simple. For every x amount of people that are able to consistently receive sanitary water due to infrastructure built by a firm, the firm will receive a one-time payment of y dollars. LIFE will simply review each project and subsidize the most efficient firms. With a clear profit to be made, numerous firms will quickly enter the market, ensuring competition between them for LIFE funds. LIFE will only subsidize projects that take place in high-priority countries to ensure that infrastructure gets to where it is needed the most. [8]

While the solution proposed by the United States of America may seem radical in its restructuring, President Trump would like to remind UNEP that this plan does not have any losers. Member states will pay the same amount of money that they have been to create water infrastructure. Firms will earn profits that end up bolstering the economies of the donor nations. And most importantly, the billions of people without access to clean water will be able to find water, and therefore opportunities. The United States of America is optimistic about the proposed solution and is eager to work with its Western allies, such as Canada, the UK, and Australia, in addition to the many countries who would receive more efficient aid as a result of this solution, such as Nigeria, Indonesia, and Haiti. [9]

 

  • Om Shah

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