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Financing and cost recovery
This TOP provides an overview on financing and cost recovery for the water supply and sanitation services sector in rural and low-income urban areas of developing countries. It gives a grounding and some specialist opinions on issues that are at the heart of efforts to meet the Millennium Development Goals of halving the proportions of people lacking access to basic water and sanitation services by 2015. Issues like these: * Community organizations, municipalities and small service providers are failing to generate the revenues required both for capital investments to meet growing demand and for daily operation and maintenance of existing systems. * Governments, development agencies and communities in different parts of the world are struggling with the issue of decentralization and cost recovery. * Few countries have realistic policies, operational strategies or plans for cost recovery, let alone plans for the sustainable financing of increased service coverage over time, particularly for the poor. * Strategies for cost recovery are typically short sighted and address only part of the issue of sustainability (for instance, focusing solely on operation and maintenance costs), and result in degradation of systems and failure to deliver reliable water supply and sanitation services. These issues need to be addressed urgently. But how, and who will pay? And how do we ensure that poverty is properly addressed?