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UNICEF and the WHO announce that the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) for safe drinking water has been reached

UNICEF Mozambique
© UNICEF Mozambique/2011
"Every day more than 3,000 children die from diarrhoeal diseases. Achieving this goal will go a long way to saving children’s lives". - UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake

MAPUTO, Mozambique, 6 March 2012 - Today, UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO) jointly announced that the world has met the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target of halving the proportion of people without access to safe drinking water, well in advance of the 2015 deadline.

This is one of the first MDG targets to be met. The target, set in 2000, was to halve by 2015 the proportion of people who in 1990 did not have sustainable access to safe drinking water, and therefore extend access to 88 per cent of the world's population, which was surpassed in 2010. Between 1990 and 2010, over two billion people gained access to improved drinking water sources - such as piped supplies, bore holes fitted with hand pumps and protected wells.

UNICEF Mozambique
© UNICEF Mozambique/2011
"At the end of 2010, 89 per cent of the world’s population, or 6.1 billion people, used improved drinking water sources." - Progress on Drinking Water and Sanitation 2012 report

UNICEF and the WHO project that at this rate of progress, by 2015, 92 per cent of the world's population will have access to improved drinking water sources. Reaching tha target is a testament to the dedication, enthusiasm, perseverance and sheer will of countries, their leaders, public and private sector organizations, communities and individuals, who saw the MDGs as concrete, achievable steps to improve the lives of millions of people.

In what has been hailed as a true global collaborative effort, the UN has played a key role by establishing the MDGs.

This result proves beyond doubt that the MDGs are indeed attainable, but only with the concerted effort of all.

For more information, please contact

Arild Drivdal, UNICEF Mozambique, tel. (+258) 21 481 100; email:

Gabriel Pereira, UNICEF Mozambique, tel. (+258) 21 481 100; email:



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