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

EAST ASIA/PACIFIC, MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA AND LATIN AMERICA/CARIBBEAN ARE ON TRACK TO REACH THE MDG TARGET BY 2015

Progress towards the MDG target on basic sanitation, by region (1990 and 2004)

Basic sanitation

Basic sanitation

MDG target: Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people without sustainable access to basic sanitation

Sanitation coverage increased from 49 per cent in 1990 to 59 per cent in 2004. But the rate of progress is insufficient to meet the 2015 MDG target. If current trends continue, the target will be missed by more than half a billion people. In 2004, 41 per cent of the world’s population –
2.6 billion people – did not use improved sanitation facilities.

Lack of sanitation – along with poor hygiene and unsafe drinking water – contributes to the deaths of more than 1.5 million children each year from diarrhoeal diseases. In addition, hundreds of millions of children suffer reduced physical growth and impaired cognitive functions due to intestinal worms.

Simply keeping pace with population growth remains a huge challenge, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, where the number of people without access to sanitation has increased by more than 100 million since 1990. Limited political support is one of the major barriers to progress.

 

ABOUT 2.6 BILLION PEOPLE DID NOT USE IMPROVED SANITATION FACILITIES IN 2004

Most lived in rural areas
Population (millions) who did not use improved sanitation facilities, by region (2004)

 

MEETING THE MDG TARGET MEANS REACHING 1.6 BILLION PEOPLE WITH IMPROVED SANITATION FACILITIES BY 2015

Population who will gain access to improved sanitation facilities if the MDG is met

Note: The difference between the global total (1.6 billion) and the sum of the regions (1.4 billion) is significant and is due to rounding of the global and regional MDG targets to an integer.

 

51 DEVELOPING COUNTRIES ARE ON TRACK TO REACH THE MDG TARGET ON BASIC SANITATION

Progress in 4 developing countries has been insufficient to reach the target, and 41 developing countries have made no progress

 

THE WORLD IS NOT ON TRACK TO MEET THE MDG TARGET ON BASIC SANITATION

Global trends in coverage of improved sanitation facilities

Notes on figures on this page: ‘Improved sanitation facilities’ is an MDG indicator and proxy for basic sanitation. 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.