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The WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Program (JMP) has monitored progress on global safe drinking water and sanitation targets since the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were launched in 2000. The WHO/UNICEF has just released a report that shows how far we have come and how far we still have to go and it presents updates on global statistics and disparities by region and wealth.

sanitation and water

The report also gives an overview of the JMP’s work creating, implementing, and expanding water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) monitoring systems over the past 25 years. Safe and child-friendly WASH in schools improves health, boosts education achievement, promotes gender equity and makes a positive impact on communities. But most schools in developing countries lack even basic water and sanitation facilities and hygiene education programs are often inadequate. Together with its partners, UNICEF has been helping to address these gaps through a stronger emphasis on WASH in Schools, advocacy and programming.


These are the key findings of the report:

  • In 2015, 2.4 billion people still lack sanitation facilities and 663 million lack improved drinking water sources. The MDG target in this category has been missed by almost 700 million people.
  • But on the positive side, 82% of the global urban population and 51% of the rural population uses improved sanitation facilities.
  • Five developing regions met the drinking water target but the Caucasus and Central Asia, Northern Africa, Oceania and sub-Saharan Africa did not meet their targets.


  • In many countries and regions even though progress has been made towards the MDG target for water and sanitation it hasn’t significantly reduced inequalities.
  • For global monitoring from here on, the Joint Monitoring Program proposes prioritizing WASH in schools and in health care facilities. They also propose expanding the monitoring of hand-washing with soap and menstrual hygiene management.

To read the complete report, click here.

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