Progress for Children Homepage
PROGRESS FOR CHILDREN: A WORLD FIT FOR CHILDREN STATISTICAL REVIEW View Previous Editions>

EAST ASIA/PACIFIC, SOUTH ASIA, MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA AND LATIN AMERICA/CARIBBEAN ARE ON TRACK TO MEET THE MDG TARGET

Progress towards the MDG target on safe drinking water, by region (1990 and 2004)

Safe drinking water

Safe drinking water

Between 1990 and 2004, more than 1.2 billion people gained access to an improved source of drinking water. The proportion of the world’s population using improved sources of drinking water increased from 78 per cent to 83 per cent over this period, putting the world on track – but barely –to meet the MDG target. The challenges remain huge. A further 1.1 billion people will need to gain access by 2015.

Safe drinking water remains an essential strategy for child survival. But more than 125 million children under five do not use an improved source of drinking water, leaving them vulnerable to life-threatening diseases. Some 84 per cent of people not using improved sources of drinking water live in rural areas, and enhanced efforts to reach them are vital. Yet, due to rapid urbanization, simply maintaining current coverage rates of 95 per cent in urban areas will require that an additional 717 million people gain access by 2015.

 

IN 2004, MOST PEOPLE WHO DID NOT USE IMPROVED SOURCES OF DRINKING WATER LIVED IN RURAL AREAS

Population (millions) who did not use improved sources of drinking water, by region (2004)

 

MEETING THE MDG TARGET MEANS REACHING 1.1 BILLION PEOPLE WITH IMPROVED SOURCES OF DRINKING WATER BY 2015

Population who will gain access to improved sources of drinking water if the MDG is reached

 

Note: The difference between the global total (1.1 billion) and the sum of the regions (989 million) is significant and is due to rounding of the global and regional MDG targets to an integer.

 

76 DEVELOPING COUNTRIES ARE ON TRACK TO REACH THE MDG TARGET ON SAFE DRINKING WATER

Progress in 5 developing countries has been insufficient to reach the target, and 23 developing countries have made no progress

 

THE WORLD IS ON TRACK – THOUGH BARELY – TO MEET THE MDG TARGET ON SAFE DRINKING WATER

Global trends in coverage of improved sources of drinking water

Notes on figures on this page: ‘Improved drinking water sources’ is an MDG indicator and proxy for safe drinking water. Calculations of progress are based on WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation (JMP) data for 1990–2004.
Source for figures: JMP data for 1990–2004.