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Agua, saneamiento e higiene

WASH strategy

Imagen del UNICEF
© UNICEF/UN03212/Ose
Pupils in front of a sign promoting hand washing at an elementary school in Kiryandongo District.

In September 2015, world leaders met at the United Nations and made a commitment to achieve 17 Sustainable Development Goals over the next 15 years. Collectively, these goals aim to end poverty, fight inequality and protect our natural environment.

Goal 6 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), aims to “ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all”. UNICEF works within the framework of the new development agenda to support governments in achieving these goals.

While all goals on this agenda are integrated and support one another, access to water and sanitation is a foundation for development towards health, equity, gender equality and education.

Eliminating inequality is a crucial purpose of the new agenda. In achieving water and sanitation for all, UNICEF works to reach the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children first. Without equity, sustainable development is not possible. Read more about WASH and equity.

Targets for Goal 6
Goal 6 seeks to “ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all”. It is a comprehensive goal addresses the entire water cycle, from access to use and efficiency, and the integrated management of water resources and water-related ecosystems.

UNICEF’s work on WASH will contribute to three main targets:

Target 6.1: By 2030, achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all

Target 6.2: By 2030, achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and end open defecation, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations

Target 6.3: By 2030, improve water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping and minimizing release of hazardous chemicals and materials, halving the proportion of untreated wastewater and substantially increasing recycling and safe reuse globally


Improving accountability: the lack of sustainability of WASH interventions is a major barrier to universal access. Currently 30-50% of WASH project fail after 2-5 years. In many cases, it is not the technical aspect that causes the failure, but rather a lack of good governance that compromises public-service delivery.

Poor governance and accountability is currently a major barrier to achieving equity and universal access.
Read more on accountability