The world needs a “radical increase” in WASH investments


Countries are not increasing spending fast enough to meet the water and sanitation targets under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), says a new report published by WHO on behalf of UN-Water – the United Nations inter-agency coordination mechanism for water and sanitation.

According to the Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-Water (GLAAS) 2017 report, countries will not meet global aspirations of universal access to safe drinking-water and sanitation unless steps are taken to use financial resources more efficiently and increase efforts to identify new sources of funding.

"Today, almost two billion people use a source of drinking-water contaminated with faeces, putting them at risk of contracting cholera, dysentery, typhoid and polio," says Dr Maria Neira, WHO Director, Department of Public Health, Environmental and Social Determinants of Health.

"Contaminated drinking-water is estimated to cause more than 500 000 diarrhoeal deaths each year and is a major factor in several neglected tropical diseases, including intestinal worms, schistosomiasis, and trachoma," added Neira.

The report indicates that countries have increased their budgets for water, sanitation and hygiene at an annual average rate of 4.9% over the last three years, yet, 80% of countries report that water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) financing is still insufficient to meet nationally-defined targets for WASH services. Similarly, water and sanitation official development assistance (ODA) spending increased from USD 6.3 to USD 7.4 billion from 2012 to 2015. However, aid commitments for water and sanitation have declined since 2012 from USD 10.4 billion to USD 8.2 billion in 2015

“The GLAAS report is a startling reminder of the urgent need for increased investment in water and sanitation,” says Chris Williams, Executive Director of WSSCC. “Government investment in local, innovative, and scalable delivery models can improve the health, wealth, and productivity of its citizens. The challenge is to identify the relevant vehicles for low-cost, sustainable, and scalable development programmes that can strengthen preventive services.”

The Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) is a global organization that improves access to sanitation and hygiene for vulnerable and marginalized people, leaving no one behind.

To read the full report, click here: