WHO/UNICEF Report Confirms Achievement of MDG on Access to Safe Drinking Water

6 March 2012: The World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) have released a joint report conveying the achievement of the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of halving the proportion of people without access to safe drinking water in 2010.

The report, titled “Progress on Drinking Water and Sanitation: 2012 Update,” indicates that between 1990 and 2010, over 2 billion people gained access to safe drinking water sources, thus reducing the proportion of the world population without such access from 24 to 11 percent. While the MDG drinking water target has been achieved five years ahead of the 2015 deadline, the report points out that several problems persist, including regional disparities in access to safe drinking water and lack of information for global monitoring. It also highlights that more than 780 million people still remain without access to safe drinking water sources.

The publication also reports that the MDG of ensuring that 75 percent of the world population have access to improved sanitation is unlikely to be met if current trends continue. While the proportion of people using improved sanitation services increased from 49 to 63 percent between 1990 and 2010, this proportion is expected to only rise to 67 percent by 2015.

The report was prepared by the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation. [Publication: Progress on Drinking Water and Sanitation: 2012 Update][WHO Press Release]