Ref. :  000037702
Date :  2014-11-19
Language :  English
Home Page / The whole website
fr / es / de / po / en

UN reveals major gaps in water and sanitation – especially in rural areas

Author :  OMS / WHO


Global efforts to provide improved water and sanitation for all are gaining momentum, but serious gaps in funding continue to hamper progress, according to a new report from WHO on behalf of UN-Water.

The UN-Water Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-Water (GLAAS 2014), published biannually, presents data from 94 countries and 23 external support agencies. It offers a comprehensive analysis of strengths and challenges in water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) provision within and across countries.

“Water and sanitation are essential to human health. Political commitment to ensure universal access to these vital services is at an all-time high,” said Dr Maria Neira, Director of the WHO Department of Public Health and the Environment. “International aid for the sector is on the rise. But we continue to see major financial gaps at the country level, particularly in rural areas.”

Strengthened political commitment

Two thirds of the 94 countries surveyed recognized drinking-water and sanitation as a universal human right in national legislation. More than 80% reported having national policies in place for drinking-water and sanitation, and more than 75% have policies for hygiene.

This strengthened political commitment at national levels is reflected in global discussions around the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Universal and equitable access to water, sanitation and hygiene have been proposed as global targets by the Member States working group tasked with developing the SDGs.

“Now is the time to act,” says Michel Jarraud, Chair of UN-Water and Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization. “We may not know yet what the post-2015 sustainable development agenda will look like. But we do know that water and sanitation must be clear priorities if we are to create a future that allows everyone to live healthy, prosperous and dignified lives.”

Increased aid, better targeting of resources

International aid for water and sanitation is on the rise. According to the report, financial commitments for WASH increased by 30% between 2010 and 2012 – from US$ 8.3 billion to US$ 10.9 billion.

Aid commitments are increasingly targeted to underserved regions, notably sub-Saharan Africa, Southern Asia and South-eastern Asia. GLAAS 2014 also highlights the strengthened targeting of WASH resources for the poor: more than 75% of countries reported having specific measures in their national plans to provide water and sanitation for low-income populations.

“For our partners, especially at country level, GLAAS is key for achieving sound, evidence-based decision-making,” says President John Agyekum Kufuor, Chair of Sanitation and Water for All. “The report guides governments in knowing where progress in WASH is being made and where more resources need to be allocated.”

“As we identify the financial and human resource gaps, governments and donors can be more strategic in supporting policies and in implementing sustainable programmes to ensure equitable access to water and sanitation for all people,” says Chris Williams, Executive Director of the UN-based Water Supply & Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC).

Still major gaps

Despite these gains, 2.5 billion men, women and children around the world lack access to basic sanitation services. About 1 billion people continue to practice open defecation. An additional 748 million people do not have ready access to an improved source of drinking-water. And hundreds of millions of people live without clean water and soap to wash their hands, facilitating the spread of diarrhoeal disease, the second leading cause of death among children under 5.

Many other water-borne diseases, such as cholera, typhoid and hepatitis, are prone to explosive outbreaks. Poor sanitation and hygiene can also lead to debilitating diseases affecting scores of people in the developing world, like intestinal worms, blinding trachoma and schistosomiasis.

Key challenges

The report cites a number of key challenges.

Insufficient financing
Though international aid for the WASH sector has increased, national funding needs continue to outweigh available resources. Eighty per cent (80%) of countries reported that current levels of financing are insufficient to meet their targets for drinking-water and sanitation.

Funding gap in rural areas
While a vast majority of people who lack access to basic sanitation live in rural areas, the bulk of financing continues to benefit urban residents. Expenditures for rural sanitation comprise less than 10% of total WASH financing.

Weak national capacity to execute WASH plans
Despite strong political support for universal access to water and sanitation, fewer than one-third of the countries surveyed for this report have national WASH plans that are being fully implemented, funded and regularly reviewed.

Critical gaps in monitoring
Reliable data is vital to identify gaps in access to WASH services and inform policy decisions. Though many countries have WASH monitoring frameworks in place, a majority reported inconsistent or fragmented gathering of data and weak capacity for analysis.

Neglect for WASH in schools, health facilities
Water and sanitation services in schools can ensure that children, especially girls, stay in school and learn lifelong hygiene habits. In health clinics, WASH services ensure the privacy and safety of patients, particularly expectant mothers during delivery, and are essential to prevent and respond to disease outbreaks. Yet, GLAAS data indicates that less than 30% of surveyed countries have national WASH plans for institutional settings that were being fully implemented, funded and regularly reviewed.

Investments pay off

Investments in water and sanitation yield substantial benefits for human health and development. According to WHO estimates, for every dollar invested in water and sanitation, there is a US$ 4.3 return in the form of reduced health care costs for individuals and society. Millions of children can be saved from premature death and illness related to malnutrition and water-borne diseases. Adults can live longer and healthier lives.

The benefits cut across many sectors. Economic and environmental gains include, for example, greater productivity in the workplace and reduced pollution of water and land resources. Gains in quality of life include improved school attendance, greater privacy and safety – especially for women, children and the elderly – and a greater sense of dignity for all.

Note to Editors:

An “improved” drinking water source is defined as a facility or delivery point that protects water from external contamination – particularly fecal contamination. This includes piped water into a dwelling, plot, or yard; public tap or standpipe; tube-well or borehole; protected spring; and rainwater collection. An "improved" sanitation facility is one that hygienically separates human excreta from human contact.

The 23 external support agencies include donor governments and other sources of funding/support (e.g. non-governmental organizations and foundations).

On 20 November 2014 the United Nations will mark the 20th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Convention recognizes “the right of the child to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health” and “the right of every child to a standard of living adequate for the child's physical, mental, spiritual, moral and social development”.


Rate this content
 
 
 
Average of 46 ratings 
Rating 2.74 / 4 MoyenMoyenMoyenMoyen
Same author:
 flecheWHO expert panel paves way for strong international governance on human genome editing
 flecheSunbeds pose a risk for all people
 flecheProtecting the children from the environment
 fleche9 out of 10 people worldwide breathe polluted air, but more countries are taking action
 flecheThe cost of a polluted environment:
1.7 million child deaths a year

 flecheRespire la vie - une campagne sur les dangers de la pollution de l'air - infographies
 fleche2016 year in review: key health issues
 flecheWHO Global Urban Ambient Air Pollution Database (update 2016)
 flecheLife expectancy increased by 5 years since 2000, but health inequalities persist
 flecheGlobal report on diabetes
 flecheAn estimated 12.6 million deaths each year are attributable to unhealthy environments
 flecheCommission presents its final report, calling for high-level action to address major health challenge
 flecheTrends in maternal mortality: 1990 to 2015
Estimates by WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA, World Bank Group and the United Nations Population Division

 flecheViolence against women
 flecheHealth and human rights
 flecheTuberculosis mortality nearly halved since 1990
 flecheNew report identifies four ways to reduce health risks from climate pollutants
 flecheClimate change and health
 flecheVaccine hesitancy: A growing challenge for immunization programmes
 flecheWHO calls for increase in voluntary blood donors to save millions of lives
 flecheEbola diaries: Detecting disease on an unprecedented scale
 flecheGlobal vaccination targets ‘off-track’ warns WHO
 flecheWorld Health Day 2015: From farm to plate, make food safe
 flecheTobacco use declining but major intensification needed in reduction and control efforts
 flecheWHO calls on countries to reduce sugars intake among adults and children
 fleche1.1 billion people at risk of hearing loss
 flecheNew study highlights need to scale up violence prevention efforts globally
 flecheWorld health statistics 2014
 flecheImproved data reveals higher global burden of tuberculosis
 flechePreventing suicide: A global imperative
 flecheWHO and partners respond to the outbreak of Ebola virus disease in Guinea
 flecheCommunicating the economics of social determinants of health and health inequalities
 flecheWorld Hepatitis Day: Think again
 flecheWHO targets elimination of TB in over 30 countries
 flecheAccelerating WHO emergency response to Ebola outbreak: Contact tracing
 flecheWHO/UNICEF highlight need to further reduce gaps in access to improved drinking water and sanitation
 flecheWHO’s first global report on antibiotic resistance reveals serious, worldwide threat to public health
 flecheWHO issues new guidance on how to provide contraceptive information and service
 flechePush for palliative care stokes debate
 flecheHINARI: Providing access to health literature
 flecheBuilding Back Better Sustainable mental health care after emergencies
 flechePrevention and control of NCDs: Guidelines for primary health care in low-resource settings
 flecheMental health action plan 2013 - 2020
 flecheWHO issues new guidance for treating children with severe acute malnutrition
 flecheWorld AIDS Day
 flecheTen chemicals of major public health concern
 flecheGains in tuberculosis control at risk due to 3 million missed patients and drug resistance
 flecheWHO calls for the phase out of mercury fever thermometers and blood pressure measuring devices by 2020
 flecheEarly childhood development and disability
 flecheWHO welcomes the updating of the European Union (EU) Tobacco Products Directive
 flecheFamily planning
 flecheMDG 1: eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
 flecheHealth research is essential for progress towards universal health coverage
 flecheHepatitis: “It’s closer than you think”
 flecheDementia cases set to triple by 2050 but still largely ignored
 flecheWHO report on the global tobacco epidemic, 2011: warning about the dangers of tobacco
 flecheWHO maps noncommunicable disease trends in all countries
 flecheNew WHO report: deaths from noncommunicable diseases on the rise, with developing world hit hardest
 flecheWorld Health Day 2011: Urgent action necessary to safeguard drug treatments
 flecheDiabetes: the sweet irony of modern technology
 flecheTurn off the tap of unsafe medicines
 flecheAction needed to reduce health impact of harmful alcohol use
 fleche2010 in review: key health issues - Photo feature
 flecheMalaria report shows rapid progress towards international targets
 flecheWHO urges all countries to strengthen health financing so more people can use services
 flecheHidden cities: new report shows how poverty and ill-health are linked in urban areas
 flecheWHO: control of neglected tropical diseases is feasible - Renewed engagement to scale-up integrated interventions announced
 flecheMore developing countries show universal access to HIV/AIDS services is possible
 flecheH1N1 in post-pandemic period
 flecheWHO launches global network of age-friendly cities
 flecheSixty-third World Health Assembly closes after passing multiple resolutions
 flecheGrowing threat from counterfeit medicines
 flecheWorld Health Day 2010 - Urbanization and health
 flecheAccess to safe drinking water improving; sanitation needs greater efforts
 flecheGlobal forum addresses solutions to prevent premature deaths
 fleche2009 in review: key health issues
 fleche10 facts on climate change and health
 flecheNew HIV infections reduced by 17% over the past eight years
 flecheToday women live longer, but not healthier lives
 flecheChildhood vaccines at all-time high, but access not yet equitable
 flecheMore than four million HIV-positive people now receiving life-saving treatment
 flecheLargest ever HIV vaccine trial results very encouraging
 flecheRoad accidents, suicide and maternal conditions are leading causes of death in young people
 flecheWorld now at the start of 2009 influenza pandemic

 flecheWorld Health Assembly opens amid concerns about flu pandemic
 flecheSwine influenza frequently asked questions - WHO
 flecheImpact of financial crisis on health: a truly global solution is needed
 flecheHIV-related TB deaths higher than past estimates
 flecheHealth impact of climate change needs attention
 flecheThe Financial Crisis and Global Health
 flecheHealth amid a financial crisis: a complex diagnosis
 fleche2008 in review: key public health issues - Photo essay
 flecheMessage from Dr Margaret Chan, WHO Director-General, for World AIDS Day

 flecheNew study presents state of the world's health
 flecheWorld Health Report calls for return to primary health care approach
 flecheProgress made in malaria control, yet burden is enormous
 flecheExecutive summary "Closing the gap in a generation: Health equity through action on the social determinants of health"
 flecheInequities are killing people on a "grand scale" reports WHO's Commission
 flecheWHO launches new HIV/AIDS guide to help countries reach universal access
 flecheNew rapid tests for drug-resistant TB for developing countries
 fleche3 million now receiving life-saving HIV drugs
 flecheWorld Health Assembly sets bold new action for WHO
 flecheNoncommunicable diseases now biggest killers
 fleche10 facts on immunization
 flecheClimate change will erode foundations of health
 flecheInterview: espoirs et craintes dans la lutte contre le paludisme
 flecheGlobal costs of attaining the Millennium Development Goal for water supply and sanitation
 flecheMaternal mortality ratio falling too slowly to meet goal
 flecheJournée Internationale des Personnes Agées - 1er Octobre
 flecheWHO stresses need to ensure the safety of children's medicines
 flecheHealth workforce challenges place increasing demands on European health systems
 flecheNew guidelines to improve psychological and social assistance in emergencies
 flecheWHO urges more investments, services for mental health
 flecheThe world health report 2007
 flecheInternational spread of disease threatens public health security
 flecheChina and India join WHO clinical trial registry platform
 flecheCountries urged to be more vigilant about food safety
 flecheChan, Margaret
 flecheGovernments make progress in interpersonal violence prevention. National efforts leading to significant progress, reports WHO
 flecheWHO proposes global agenda on transplantation
 flecheSpeech by Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization at the High-level debate on international health security
 flecheWHO reports some promising results on avian influenza vaccines
 flecheWHO Executive Board to tackle key global health issues
 fleche2006: A year of challenges and achievements
 flecheNew vaccines against cervical cancer major opportunity for developing world
 flecheProgress made, but AIDS remains pressing public health challenge
 flecheMargaret Chan to be WHO's next Director-General
 flecheFuture of sexual and reproductive health at tipping point according to global study
 flecheUN Secretary-General’s study reveals full range and scale of violence against children
 flecheWHO challenges world to improve air quality
 flecheHealth consequences of excessive solar UV radiation
 flecheNew global alliance seeks to address worldwide shortage of doctors, nurses and other health workers
 flecheThe World Health Organization announces new standards for registration of all human medical research
 flecheThe world health report 2006 - Working together for health
 flecheWorld Health Organization report explains the health impacts of the world's worst-ever civil nuclear accident
 flecheWorld Health Report outlines need for more investment in health workforce to improve working conditions, revitalize training institutions and anticipate future challenges
 flecheReport: Public health, innovation and intellectual property rights
 flecheIntellectual property rights and innovation: high-level commission calls for action to ensure developing country access to existing and new medicines and vaccines
 flecheProgress on Global Access to HIV Antiretroviral Therapy
 flecheGlobal access to HIV therapy tripled in past two years, but significant challenges remain
 flecheCounterfeit medicines: the silent epidemic
 flecheAvian influenza confirmed in birds in Nigeria
 flecheInternational Pledging Conference on Avian and Human Pandemic Influenza
 flecheWas 2005 the year of natural disasters?
 flecheResults of survey: how healthy is your world?
 flecheIncreased HIV prevention and treatment efforts needed to slow and reverse AIDS epidemic, according to new UNAIDS/WHO report
 flecheMeeting on Avian Influenza and Human Pandemic Influenza. Closing remarks
 flecheGlobal meeting to develop common approach on avian influenza and human pandemic influenza
 flecheHealth workers, clean water, blankets and shelter still in short supply in Pakistan for earthquake survivors
 fleche1 October: International Day of Older Persons
 flecheImmunization maintains strong performance made in last quarter century
 flecheWHO expert to work with the UN system on avian and human influenza
 flecheThe World Health Organization warns of the rising threat of heart disease and stroke as overweight and obesity rapidly increase
 flecheWorld Health Organization urges responsible use of antimalarial medicines
 flecheChernobyl: the true scale of the accident
 flecheDonation of three million treatments of oseltamivir to WHO will help early response to an emerging influenza pandemic
 flecheHealth and the Millennium Development Goals
 flecheBuilding stronger health systems key to reaching the health Millennium Development Goals
 flecheNew Bangkok charter for health promotion adopted to address rapidly changing global health issues
 flecheWHO: "learning by doing" is key to achieving universal access to HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment
 flecheCountries with moderate to high risk of hepatitis B infection (2002)
 flecheGlobal prevalence of hepatitis C infection (2002)
 flecheAccess to HIV treatment continues to accelerate in developing countries, but bottlenecks persist, says WHO/UNAIDS report
 flecheAlmost 2 billion more people need access to basic sanitation by 2015 to meet millenium target
 flecheWHO and FAO to consult consumer associations from 25 countries on how to promote their involvement in food safety
 flecheWorld Health Assembly adopts new International Health Regulations
 flecheFifty-eighth World Health Assembly: 16–25 May 2005, Geneva, Switzerland
 flecheTB cases and deaths linked to HIV at alarming levels in Africa
 flecheAfrica is worst hit by dual epidemic
 flecheGlobal tobacco treaty enters into force with 57 countries already committed
 flecheWHO warns up to five million people without access to basic services in Southeast Asia
 flecheLee, Jong-wook
 flecheNumber of women living with HIV increases in each region of the world

 flecheLandmark report could influence the future of medicines in Europe and the world
 flecheNew WHO report calls for a new and innovative approach to health systems research
 flecheFood safety : Five simple measures could significantly reduce the global incidence of foodborne disease
 flecheSuicide huge but preventable public health problem, says WHO
 flecheA globally effective HIV vaccine requires greater participation of women and adolescents in clinical trials
 flecheWHO publishes new guidelines on preventing mother to child transmission of HIV
 flecheStrong foundations built to increase access to AIDS treatment
 flecheCodex urged to speed up work and increase participation by developing countries
 flechePolio experts warn of largest epidemic in recent years, as polio hits Darfur
 flecheThe environment: where's the risk, and where are children safe?
 flecheStudy on environmental burden of disease in children: Key findings
 flecheUnprecedented opportunity to fight HIV/AIDS and change the course of history
 flecheMore than 600 million people urgently need effective malaria treatment to prevent unacceptably high death rates
 flecheWorld Health Day 2004 offers an historic opportunity to increase investment in road safety
 flecheWorld Health Day: Road safety is no accident!
 flecheWHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control now signed by 100 countries
 flecheWorld Health Organization to host influenza pandemic preparedness meeting
 flecheWorld Health Organization and scientific journal editors vow to help galvanize mental health research in developing countries
 flecheAIDS threat growing throughout Europe
 flecheUnprecedented spread of avian influenza requires broad collaboration
 flecheMany countries not on target to reach health-related Millennium Development Goals
 flecheUrgent work needed to rebuild health care systems
 flecheNew book demonstrates how climate change impacts on health
 flecheWHO and UNAIDS unveil plan to get 3 million AIDS patients on treatment by 2005
 flecheMass immunization campaign launched to protect 15 million children from polio, as outbreak in Nigeria spreads across West Africa
 flecheWorld Health Organization says failure to deliver AIDS medicines is a global health emergency
 flecheHealth crisis in Liberia - the long road to recovery
 fleche
Coronavirus never before seen in humans is the cause of SARS

 flecheWHO/FAO release independent Expert Report on diet and chronic disease
 flecheAgreement reached on global Framework Convention on Tobacco Control
 flechel’OMS et la FIA unissent leurs efforts pour améliorer la sécurité routière
 flecheWHO launches annual Move for Health day as global initiative to promote benefits of physical activity
 flecheCountries meet to finalize landmark agreement on International Tobacco Control
 flecheOutbreaks in Africa underscore the urgency for increased global influenza surveillance and pandemic planning
 flecheEight questions consumers should ask on the threat of mad cow disease
 flecheForty new countries given low cost access to health journals
 flecheSymposium aims to expand 5 a day initiative to boost fruit and vegetable consumption
 flecheWater for health enshrined as a human right
 flecheImpact of AIDS worsens African famine
 flecheIntensification de l'action dans les pays: Rencontre des hauts responsables de la santé et des finances avec les partenaires pour améliorer la santé des pauvres
 flecheIntensification de l'action dans les pays: Rencontre des hauts responsables de la santé et des finances avec les partenaires pour améliorer la santé des pauvres
13
SEARCH
Keywords   go
in