Most vulnerable of the vulnerable will need more than promises from G8 | WWF

Most vulnerable of the vulnerable will need more than promises from G8

Posted on
25 June 2010
Quito, Ecuador:  As G8 leaders prepare to enshrine improving maternal and child health in the poorest countries as a global priority, WWF International President Yolanda Kakabadse has warned it is going to involve much more than more maternal clinics, medicines and medical practitioners.

"Getting results is also going to be about ready access to clean water and sanitation, continued access to adequate food supplies, safe access to education and social services and security and a say for women," Ms Kakabadse wrote in an article that also warned of the dangers of climate change to the "most vulnerable of the vulnerable".

"In the developing world, women collect, grow or purchase most of the food and the fuel to prepare it and acquire most of the water. This burden significantly impedes the progress of women towards education and decision making involvement in their communities," she said.

Ms Kakabadse said the indications from the G8 were that there was little recognition that an environment under pressure from over-consumption, development and loss of its biological resources "is already delivering the food and fuel more sparingly and the water less reliably".

Climate change is already worening the situation, with studies even in developing nations showing that women and children will suffer more and usually dramatically more from increases in natural disasters, increases in weather extremes, the spread of diseases to wider areas and reduced water security.

This is before we factor in the major impacts of climate change, already severe in some areas and set to worsen significantly under the most optimistic scenarios.. Should this not be addressed effectively, the burden of obtaining food, fuel and water will dramatically worsen.

"In such a context, it is difficult to see the mechanisms by which the barriers to recognition, education and involvement for women will fall. Most likely, the barriers will intensify," Ms Kakabadse said.

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