World will miss MDG target
GENEVA/NEW YORK, 13 May 2013 – Some 2.4 billion people – one-third of the world’s population – will remain without access to improved sanitation in 2015, according to a joint WHO/UNICEF report issued today.
The report, entitled Progress on Sanitation and Drinking-Water 2013 Update, warns that, at the current rate of progress, the 2015 Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target of halving the proportion of the 1990 population without sanitation will be missed by eight per cent – or half a billion people.
While UNICEF and WHO announced last year that the MDG drinking water target had been met and surpassed by 2010, the challenge to improve sanitation and reach those in need has led to a consolidated call for action to accelerate progress.
“There is an urgent need to ensure all the necessary pieces are in place – political commitment, funding, leadership – so the world can accelerate progress and reach the Millennium Development Goal sanitation target,” said Dr Maria Neira, WHO Director for Public Health and Environment. “The world can turn around and transform the lives of millions that still do not have access to basic sanitation. The rewards would be immense for health, ending poverty at its source, and well-being.”
The report echoes the urgent call to action by United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson for the world community to combine efforts and end open defecation by 2025. With less than three years to go to reach the MDG deadline WHO and UNICEF call for a final push to meet the sanitation target.
"This is an emergency no less horrifying than a massive earthquake or tsunami," said Sanjay Wijesekera, global head of UNICEF's water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programme. “Every day hundreds of children are dying; every day thousands of parents mourn their sons and daughters. We can and must act in the face of this colossal daily human tragedy.”
Among the key findings from the latest 2011 data, the report highlights:
Faster progress on sanitation is possible, the two organizations say. The report summarizes the shared vision of the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector including academia, human rights and global monitoring communities for a post-2015 world where:
About the JMP
The WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) for Water Supply and Sanitation is the official United Nations mechanism tasked with monitoring global progress towards the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) relating to access to drinking water and sanitation. The JMP data helps draw connections between access to clean water and private sanitation facility and quality of life.
The World Health Organization is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system. It is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries and monitoring and assessing health trends. From its inception, WHO has recognized the importance of water and sanitation. Visit www.who.int for more information.
UNICEF works in more than 190 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.
Community Approaches to Total Sanitation (CATS), now being supported by UNICEF in 50 countries around the world, including crucial ones in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, have led to more than 39,000 communities, with a total population of over 24 million people, being declared free of open defecation within the last five years.
For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org.
For further information, please contact:
Rita Ann Wallace, Communications Officer, UNICEF New York,
Tel: + 1 212 326 7586 / Mobile: + 917 213 4034, firstname.lastname@example.org
Nada Osseiran, Communications Officer, WHO Geneva,
Tel: + 4122 791 4475 / Mobile: + 4179 445 1624, email@example.com
Download the entire report and get more information