Millennium Development Goal drinking water target met - Sanitation target still lagging far behind

6 MARCH 2012 | NEW YORK/GENEVA – The world has met the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target of halving the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water, well in advance of the MDG 2015 deadline, according to a report issued today by UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO). Between 1990 and 2010, over two billion people gained access to improved drinking water sources, such as piped supplies and protected wells.

... The report provides the latest update on rural areas across the globe, highlighting the need for greater attention both to water and sanitation. In rural areas in least developed countries, 97 out of every 100 people do not have piped water and 14 per cent of the population drinks surface water—for example, from rivers, ponds, or lakes.

“We have reached an important target, but we cannot stop here,” the UN Secretary-General said. “Our next step must be to target the most difficult to reach, the poorest and the most disadvantaged people across the world. The United Nations General Assembly has recognized drinking water and sanitation as human rights. That means we must ensure that every person has access.”