Online Program

Taking the reins: Public water, the international health community, and the World Bank's opportunity to advance global health

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 3:10 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Shayda Naficy, MA, Corporate Accountability International, Boston, MA
In 2012, Dr. Jim Yong Kim--a physician and human rights advocate--was appointed World Bank president. As the first health practitioner to lead the Bank, Kim faces the challenge of ensuring it operates in the interests of public health. Historically, the Bank has critically shaped health, most notably in 1991 when it ceased investments in tobacco production, analyzed costs of tobacco use, and assessed the benefits of putting its clout behind tobacco control. Now, amidst concern that 1 in 9 people live without access to enough water, the health community must again look to the Bank to advance health by ensuring clean water access around the world. By driving water privatization, the Bank has undermined access to clean water, impacting millions. In one of its sites, Manila, many communities remain waterless, with the high price of water beyond reach. Quality has suffered with severe health consequences; in 2003, 600 residents became sick and eight people died when the water's E. Coli level exceeded seven times the national limit. With its health leader, the World Bank has the opportunity to shift practices to support public health, and to support public water systems' crucial role in preventing disease and ensuring access for millions. This presentation will define the Bank's precedent for promoting health by divesting from water privatization and re-investing in public water infrastructure. Based on a groundbreaking report, the presentation will explore the Manila case study, explain the urgent public health challenges of the Bank's current approach, and highlight opportunities for change.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Define the public health consequences of water privatization through the case study of Manila Identify opportunities for the World Bank to advance public health by divesting from private water systems and investing in public systems globally Demonstrate the World Bank’s role in public health and current opportunities through which Dr. Kim, president of the World Bank, can advance global health

Keyword(s): Water, Advocacy

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: As director of our international campaign to protect democratic water governance, I organize key policy-makers, health professionals, researchers, and others to promote the human right to water at the United Nations and to stop the World Bank from promoting water privatization. I was a co-author on the report this presentation is based on, "Shutting the Spigot."
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.