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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

5/9/2014 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

In spite of improvements, many parts of globe do without sanitary water, U.N. says

While there have been vast improvements made in the last 20 years, there are nearly 750 million people in the world today who go without sanitary drinking water. These populations live in mostly poor, rural areas that are cut off from fresh drinking supplies.

The majority of the 45 countries expected to miss the MDG target for safe drinking water are in sub-Saharan Africa, which also has the lowest levels of improved sanitation with South Asia.

The majority of the 45 countries expected to miss the MDG target for safe drinking water are in sub-Saharan Africa, which also has the lowest levels of improved sanitation with South Asia.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

5/9/2014 (2 years ago)

Published in Africa

Keywords: Water, sub-Saharan Africa, open toilets, sanitation


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - More than two billion people have gained access to improved water supplies between 1990 and 2012. In addition, almost two billion gained access to improved sanitation over the same period.

However -- according to a report by the World Health Organization, or WHO and the U.N. children's agency UNICEF, 748 million people, half of which live in sub-Saharan Africa and half in Asia go without improved drinking water source. More than one third of the global population, some 2.5 billion people, still do not have access to a basic toilet and one billion people still practice "open defecation," the report said.

Find out how you can help in the fight against world hunger -- by going here!

Clean drinking water and sanitation are seen as crucial in the fight against killer diseases such as cholera, diarrhea, dysentery and typhoid. Both WHO and UNICEF say there remain sharp inequalities in access to improved drinking water and sanitation.

"Progress on rural sanitation - where it has occurred - has primarily benefitted richer people, increasing inequalities," Maria Neira, WHO's director for public health, said in a statement.

Fifty-six countries had met an internationally agreed goal, or a Millennium Development Goal to halve by 2015 the proportion of the population without access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation.

Seventy-seven countries have met the MDG sanitation target; 116 countries have met the MDG drinking water target.

The majority of the 45 countries expected to miss the MDG target for safe drinking water are in sub-Saharan Africa, which also has the lowest levels of improved sanitation with South Asia.

There will still be 2.4 billion people without access to an improved sanitation facility in 2015, falling short of the MDG sanitation target by over half a billion people, the report said.

"The question now is, what will the new targets be? There is a growing consensus that (they) should focus on universal access (to safe water and sanitation) as a part of the push to end extreme poverty by 2030," WaterAid's deputy head of policy, Tom Slaymaker, says.

"The only way in which we are going to get there is by having a very serious commitment and focus on reducing inequalities."

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