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Facts on Children

Water and Sanitation

Frequently Used Numbers for Water and Sanitation:
  • More than 1.2 billion people gained access to improved drinking-water sources between 1990 and 2004 and about 1.2 billion gained access to improved sanitation facilities during that period. However, more than one billion people lack access to drinking water from improved sources ľ around 900 million of them in rural areas.
  • Some 2.6 billion people worldwide (two in every five) lack access to improved sanitation ľ two billion of them in rural areas.
  • Almost 425 million children under the age of 18 lack access to an improved water supply and over 980 million lack access to improved sanitation.
  • More than 125 million children under five years of age live in households without access to an improved water drinking sources, and more than 280 million children under five live in households without access to improved sanitation facilities.
  • Of the approximately 120 million children born in the developing world each year, half will live in households without access to improved sanitation facilities and one-fifth in households without access to improved drinking water sources.
  • Unsafe drinking water, inadequate availability of water for hygiene and lack of access to sanitation together contribute to about 88 per cent of deaths form diarrhoeal diseases, or more than 1.5 million of the 1.9 million diarrhoea-related deaths among children under the age of five each year. This amounts to 18 per cent of all under-five deaths.
  • More than 5,000 children are dying every day as a result of diarrhoeal disease.
  • Millennium Development Goal 7 includes the target of halving the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation by the year 2015. At present, the world is on course for the drinking water target. However, the world is unlikely to reach the sanitation target at present rates of progress.
  • The annual cost of meeting the water and sanitation targets until 2015 is $11.3 billion.
  • For every dollar spent on water/sanitation projects, the estimated return on the investment is from $3 to $34.

Updated: April 2007


 

 
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