2014 saw an unprecedented number of humanitarian crises around the globe. At the same time, this year's mid-term congressional elections brought partisan tensions to new highs inside the Washington Beltway.
Since the meters were installed, households in Gonzalo Maldonado have experienced improved service, and families have access to water 24 hours a day, seven days a week. But Doña Luisa didn't stop there.
The unique opportunity to end outdoor defecation in India by favoring the strengthening of public institutions over market based approaches should not be passed up. Doing so would amount to yet another injustice hundreds of millions of Indians would be forced to endure.
Due to open defecation millions of Indians are prone to ill health, threats to their safety, reduced productivity and lower earning potential, resulting in a deepening cycle of poverty -- all for want of basic sanitation facilities.
I struggle with the fact that some of my best friends in the world are forced to defecate outside. They belong to the latest generation of poverty-stricken Indians, enduring the indignity of not having a toilet. My friends represent just a handful of the 650 million Indians living without toilets.
Poor sanitation spreads disease. Women creep out at night out of modesty and risk assault and death. The filth of flying toilets (people deposit waste in plastic bags and let fly) is a reminder of a grim face of poverty.
November 19th is World Toilet Day, a day to raise awareness about the 2.5 billion people who do not have access to improved sanitation. Unfortunately it is a bit of a broken record to talk about the 21,000 children that die around the world each day, as shocking as it is.
Less than one in 10 women were using sanitary napkins. They were expensive and women could not afford them, and they also did not know the adverse health consequences of what they used instead, sometimes sand, sawdust, leaves and even ash and mud.
People are beginning to realize that toilets and sanitation are critical to making sure that we protect hard-won gains and keep up the momentum in all of the more traditionally attractive areas of development.
With 70 percent of maternal and child deaths now concentrated in just 15 countries, health investments that include sanitation, education, contraception, infrastructure and women's incomes can potentially double their impact on lives saved.
When children and adults are deprived of the basics to sustain life, their health suffers, which greatly impacts their educational and overall life opportunities. On issues of poverty and for the sake of humanity, we all must work on the same side.
Municipal garbage collection in New York City is exceptionally expensive -- the public-sector cost is more than double private-sector charges and much higher than collection costs in other cities. This fall provides a great opportunity to address the problem.
We know that at least 620 million people still defecate in the open and do not have access to sanitation services, resulting in serious economic and health consequences, and the deaths of hundreds of thousands of children.