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Billions Lack Clean Drinking Water, Sanitation; Funding Gaps Hamper WASH Progress, U.N. Says

News outlets report on the findings of a U.N. report, released on World Toilet Day, showing nearly two billion people use water contaminated by feces and funding gaps are hampering the progress toward access to clean water and sanitation.

Bloomberg News: 10 Million Child Deaths Attributed to a Lack of Toilets
“In a world in which 14 percent of the population in the 21st century still defecate outdoors, children remain among the most vulnerable to a lack of toilets, contamination from human waste, and dirty water…” (Hackley, 11/19).

The Guardian: Water target least on-track among all development goals, U.N. says
“Halving the proportion of people without access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation is ‘the least on-track target’ of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), as 2.5 billion people still lack basic sanitation facilities. A lack of investment in water, hygiene, and sanitation as well as government failure to plan country-wide programs has hindered progress, according to the U.N. Water Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking Water report…” (Anderson, 11/19).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Almost two billion people use water contaminated by feces
“…According to WHO, inadequate water supply and sanitation results in annual economic losses of $260 billion. Even though aid money for the sector is at an all time high, 1.8 billion people are exposed to contaminated water, said a report published on World Toilet Day by WHO and U.N. Water. Most of the funds go towards investments in water and only a quarter to sanitation, while rural areas are often neglected…” (Mis, 11/19).

VOA News: Billions of People Still Lack Good Sanitation and Water
“…The United Nations reports 82 percent of the 1.1 billion people practicing open defecation live in just 10 countries in Asia and Africa, with India accounting for more than half that number…” (Schlein, 11/19).

WHO: U.N. reveals major gaps in water and sanitation — especially in rural areas
“…Investments in water and sanitation yield substantial benefits for human health and development. According to WHO estimates, for every dollar invested in water and sanitation, there is a US$ 4.3 return in the form of reduced health care costs for individuals and society. Millions of children can be saved from premature death and illness related to malnutrition and water-borne diseases. Adults can live longer and healthier lives…” (11/19).

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