1 in 3 people in the world lack access to drinking water

According to a new report by UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO), billions of people around the world continue to suffer from poor access to water, sanitation and hygiene.

Some 2.2 billion people worldwide They do not have safe drinking water services. Around 4,200 million people do not have sanitation services managed safely, and 3,000 million lack basic hand washing facilities.

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The report reveals that, while significant progress has been made in universal access to water, sanitation and hygiene, there are gaps in the quality of services.

"Mere access is not enough. If the water is not clean, it is not safe to drink or is too far away, and if access to the bathroom is unsafe or limited, then we are not doing our job with the children of the world, "said Kelly Ann Naylor, Associate Director of Water , Sanitation and Hygiene of UNICEF.

> “Children and their families in poor and rural communities are at the greatest risk. Governments must invest in their communities if we are going to solve these economic and geographical divisions and offer this essential human right, ”said Naylor.

The report also reveals that 1.8 billion people have gained access to basic drinking water services since 2000, but there are inequalities in the accessibility, availability and quality of these services.

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It is estimated that 1 in 10 people (785 million) still lack basic services, including the 144 million who drink untreated water.

Data show that 8 out of 10 people living in rural areas do not have access to these services, and that in 1 out of 4 countries with estimates for different wealth groups, coverage of basic services among the richest was at least twice as large than among the poorest.

One> double your efforts in the matter of sanitation.

Lack of action can cause disease resurgence such as diarrhea, cholera, typhoid fever, hepatitis A and neglected tropical diseases such as trachoma, intestinal worms and schistosomiasis.

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“Invest in water, sanitation and hygiene It is profitable and good for society in many ways, "said Neira.

The report also indicates that while 2.1 billion people have gained access to basic sanitation services since 2000, in many parts of the world, waste is not handled safely.

The> open defecation It is also an important health factor. While the proportion of the population that practices free air defecation has been cut in half, from 21% to 9%, there are still 673 million people who practice it.

Even worse, In 39 countries, the number of people practicing open defecation increased. The majority are in sub-Saharan Africa, where many countries have experienced marked population growth during the study period.

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“Close the inequality gaps in accessibility, quality and availability of water, sanitation and hygiene should be in the center of government financing and planning strategies, ”said Naylor.

He categorically concluded that ceasing to apply investment plans for universal coverage “is undermine decades of progress at the expense of future generations. ”