In a report released today, the World Health Organization (WHO) said urgent action is needed if countries around the globe want to reach their water and sanitation goals. The WHO and UN-Water's Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-Water (GLAAS) report shows significant barriers to the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goal 6—water and sanitation for all by 2030.
Only 45% countries are on track with their national safe drinking water targets, and 25% are on track with their sanitation goals. A third of countries don't have the human resources to carry out key drinking-water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) functions.
"We are facing an urgent crisis: Poor access to safe drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene claim millions of lives each year, while the increasing frequency and intensity of climate-related extreme weather events continue to hamper the delivery of safe WASH services," said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, PhD, WHO director-general, in a news release.
Poor access to safe drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene claim millions of lives each year.
Key in the report are data concerning WASH and climate change: Just over two thirds of countries have measures in their WASH policies to reach populations disproportionately affected by climate change, the WHO said. But only about one third monitor progress or allocate explicit funding to these populations.
The report is published ahead of next year's historic water and sanitation meeting, the first time in 50 years the global community—through the UN—will review progress and make firm commitments to renew action on water and sanitation with global leaders, the WHO said.