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Progress Made On WASH Standards, But Additional Commitments Needed, Report Says

“Political leadership and concrete action have led to good progress on creating universal and sustainable access to decent sanitation and drinking water, but additional efforts are needed to fulfill commitments by the 2014 deadline, a United Nations-backed partnership reported” on Wednesday, the U.N. News Centre reports. “The 15 developing countries that made specific commitments to tackle open defecation have made notable progress in scaling up community-based approaches to sanitation,” according to the 2013 Progress Update (.pdf) by the Sanitation and Water for All (SWA) partnership, the news service writes. Some countries “reported significant budget increases for sanitation,” some “have given the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector higher political visibility,” and others reported “creating stronger information systems from which important decisions can be made, as well as improved planning and coordination processes,” the news service notes. “The report showed that work remains to improve the effectiveness and sustainability of service delivery” and “more effort must also be made to include multiple stakeholders in the progress review process,” the U.N. News Centre writes (8/14).