International Donor Support for Phasing out POPs: Recommendations for Poor Countries at INC-5
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CitationAttaran, Amir. “International Donor Support for Phasing out POPs: Recommendations for Poor Countries at INC-5.” CID Working Paper Series 2001.67, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, May 2001.
AbstractThe negotiating mandate of the POPs Treaty makes it clear that the Treaty will require countries to “reduce and/or eliminate” POPs, which in turn obliges the world’s poorest countries to take expensive steps to replace POPs with alternatives that may be expensive and which they cannot afford.
This problem is especially acute for DDT, which is used to save lives from malaria, and which we take as a case study to examine how the POPs Treaty may create new and urgent requirements for international aid. We estimate that the cost of phasing out DDT while implementing alternative malaria control strategies may be staggering: between $350 and $950 million dollars annually, and on an ongoing basis. Yet current international grant assistance for global malaria control is only about $32 million a year, or just 4 cents ($0.04) per person in sub-Saharan Africa.
The example of DDT, which shows the large gap between the possible costs of phasing out POPs and the current levels of international assistance to help do so, is illustrative of the problem facing poor countries in the POPs Treaty. We believe the POPs Treaty must furnish sufficient technical and financial assistance to meet the incremental costs of alternatives to DDT and all other POPs, if developing countries are to sign or ratify it. Equitably financing the incremental cost of alternatives to POPs will require a legally binding financial mechanism within the POPs Treaty, modeled along the lines of the Multilateral Fund of the Montreal Protocol, and backed by grants (not loans) for the poorest countries. These and other guarantees must be incorporated within the Treaty, to ensure that poor countries are not forced to phase out POPs prematurely, without having access to the alternatives. We make recommendations for possible language for the Treaty, to help accomplish this.
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