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Fact of the week



80% The proportion of population in developing countries who have access to improved drinking water sources

Millennium Development Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability
Target: Reduce by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation

Nearly 80% of the unserved population is concentrated in three regions: sub-Saharan Africa, Eastern Asia and Southern Asia. Coverage is above 78% in all regions except sub-Saharan Africa and Oceania where it amounts to 56% and 50%, respectively. In Latin America and the Caribbean, Northern Africa and Western Asia, coverage is over 90%. Of those in developing regions gaining access to an improved drinking water source from 1990 to 2004, about two thirds gained access to a household connection or a yard tap (running water) whereas one third gained access through other types of improved facilities (protected wells, public standpipes, etc.). It appears that developing countries are focusing investment on centralized systems, with piped distribution to users through household connections or yard taps.

Source: UNICEF & WHO, Meeting the MDG Drinking Water and Sanitation Target: The Urban and Rural Challenge of the Decade, Switzerland, 2006.



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