This report brings together survey data from 42 countries and 27 external support agencies and overlays this information, together with information from other databases, on the data presented by JMP on access to and use of basic sanitation and safe drinking-water. This composite information source is quite central to the actions undertaken by UN-Water members and partners and is facilitating action by the development partners.
- In 2008, over 2.6 billion people were living without access to improved sanitation facilities, and nearly 900 million people were not receiving their drinking-water from improved water sources.
- Diarrhoea is the second leading contributor to global burden of disease -- ahead of heart disease and HIV/AIDS. Two and a half billion cases of diarrhoea occur in children under five years of age every year, and an estimated 1.5 million children die from it annually.
- Latest estimates indicate that improvements in sanitation and drinking-water could reduce the number of children who die each year by 2.2 million.
- The total aid for all aspects of water, as measured by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), fell from 8% to 5% of total ODA between 1997 and 2008. During this same period, ODA for health increased from 7% to 12% of total ODA, while for education, the level remained at around 7%.
- The large number of country and external support agency initiatives and partnerships reflects an important level of fragmentation over various sectors, adding a layer of complexity. The new initiative Sanitation and Water for All: A Global Framework for Action is trying to strengthen the international architecture and bring stronger political commitment to bear on water and sanitation, given that this is seen by many development partners as one of the major constraints to accelerating progress towards achieving the MDG target.