Global Progress Made On Drinking Water Access But Billions Lack Access To Sanitation Facilities, U.N. Report Says

News outlets discuss findings from a joint report by the WHO and UNICEF examining the world’s progress on access to sanitation and drinking water.

Associated Press: One-third of world’s people still have no proper toilets
“Toilets are taken for granted in the industrialized West, but still are a luxury for a third of the world’s people who have no access to them, according to a report by the World Health Organization and UNICEF…” (Daigle, 6/30).

The Guardian: Access to clean water and sanitation around the world — mapped
“Around the world, 946 million people still go to the toilet outside. … A huge global effort has been focused on reducing these numbers and new data from the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Program, which has measured the progress made on access to drinking water and sanitation since 1990, shows that there have been improvements in certain areas…” (Purvis, 7/1).

Inter Press Service: Toilets with Piped Music for Rich, Open Defecation on Rail Tracks for Poor
“…The Joint Monitoring Program report, ‘Progress on Sanitation and Drinking Water: 2015 Update and MDG Assessment,’ authored by the U.N. children’s agency UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO), says one in three people, or 2.4 billion worldwide, are still without sanitation facilities — including 946 million people who defecate in the open…” (Deen, 6/30).

New York Times: Dirty Water and Open Defecation Threaten Gains in Child Health
“Dirty drinking water and open defecation, particularly in rural areas of many developing countries, are threatening to subvert gains in child survival rates and other health measurements, two major United Nations agencies said Tuesday in a joint report on global progress in sanitation…” (Gladstone, 6/30).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: World’s poorest gain access to water, but not toilets
“… ‘Until everyone has access to adequate sanitation facilities, the quality of water supplies will be undermined and too many people will continue to die from waterborne and water-related diseases,’ said Maria Neira, head of public health at WHO…” (Mis, 6/30).

TIME: 1 in 3 People Worldwide Don’t Have Proper Toilets, Report Says
“…The study warns that progress on sanitation is falling short of the targets outlined in the U.N.’s Millennium Development Goals, even though significant improvements have been made in related areas including access to safe drinking water. Today, only 68 percent of the world’s population has access to proper sanitation facilities, a handful of percentage points short of the goal of 77 percent…” (Linshi, 6/30).

U.N. News Centre: Despite gains, 2.4 billion people worldwide still lack basic sanitation — U.N. report
“…Sanjay Wijesekera, head of UNICEF’s global water, sanitation, and hygiene programs, said what the data really show is the need to focus on inequalities as the only way to achieve sustainable progress. In other words, ‘the global model so far has been that the wealthiest move ahead first, and only when they have access do the poorest start catching up. If we are to reach universal access to sanitation by 2030, we need to ensure the poorest start making progress right away,’ Mr. Wijesekera said…” (6/30).

UPI News: Lack of toilets for 2.4 billion people undermining health efforts
“…A more robust focus and investment will need to be made to improve hygiene and habits, as well as more innovative technologies and approaches to helping poor, often rural, areas get access to clean water, the organizations said” (Feller, 6/30).

Wall Street Journal: Millions Have Gained Access to Safe Drinking Water in Last 25 Years
“…Clean water, better sanitation, and improved hygiene are crucial for the prevention of various tropical diseases and play a big role in child survival rates. The MDG target for drinking water was met in 2010, ahead of schedule. … The sanitation picture is mixed, however…” (Naik, 6/30).

The KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report summarized news and information on global health policy from hundreds of sources, from May 2009 through December 2020. All summaries are archived and available via search.

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