WHO, UNICEF JMP Report Highlights Lagging Progress on Sanitation, Proposed Post-2015 Targets

Unicef WHOMay 2013: The World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) released the 2013 update on the Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) for Water Supply and Sanitation, 'Progress on Sanitation and Drinking-Water,' which presents global, regional and country estimates for 2011.

The report calls for increased efforts to meet the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target on sanitation, one of the most lagging targets. The report also highlights the consultation process on formulating new Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) targets for the post-2015 development agenda.

Sanitation coverage is 64%, or 11% below the MDG target, according to the report. Further, although open defecation rates declined, 15% of the global population still practices open defecation. Eastern Asia has made the most progress, increasing its sanitation coverage from 27% to 67% between 1990 and 2011. Open defecation declined by over 30% in Ethiopia, Nepal, Laos People's Democratic Republic (PDR), Viet Nam and Angola. To accelerate sanitation efforts, the UN Deputy Secretary-General called on the world to end open defecation by 2025.

The report describes WHO and UNICEF consultations on developing post-2015 WASH goals, targets and indicators. Consultations resulted in four proposed targets, which aim to, inter alia: eradicate open defecation by 2025; ensure universal access to drinking-water supply and hand washing facilities at home and in health centers and schools by 2030; ensure universal sanitation at home by 2040; and deliver affordable, accountable, environmentally and financially sustainable WASH services. The four targets stress eliminating inequalities and inequities in WASH access while improving service delivery. JMP plans to collect information on proposed indicators to establish a baseline by 2014.

The report also highlights: achievement of the MDG target on drinking water coverage; and challenges in drinking water service quality. The report features chapters on: trends on sanitation, open defecation and drinking water; the post-2015 development agenda; the JMP method; country, regional and global estimates on sanitation and drinking water; trends in rural and urban sanitation and drinking water coverage; and the MDGs. [Publication: Progress on Sanitation and Drinking-Water] [IISD RS Story on Call to End Open Defecation] [Post-2015 Consultation on WASH]