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UN: Milliards globally lack water, sanitation and hygiene

19.06.2019 13:18 "Agro Perspectiva" (Kyiv) As of now, some 2.2milliard people around the world do not have safely-managed drinking water, while 4.2milliard go without safe sanitation services and three milliard lack basic handwashing facilities, UN Radio says referring to the Joint Monitoring Programme Report «Progress on drinking water, sanitation and hygiene: 2000–2017: Special focus on inequalities», issued this week by United Nations Childrens Fund (UNICEF) and World Health Organization (WHO). As to the Report, though now a significant progress has been made toward achieving universal access to WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene), there are huge gaps within the quality of services provided. Reportedly, since the turn of the century, 1.8milliard people have gained access to basic drinking water services, but vast inequalities of accessibility, availability and quality prevail. Estimates show that 1-in-10 people still lack basic services, including 144million individuals who drink untreated surface water. And the data illustrates that 8-in-10 people in rural areas lack access to these services. While open defecation has been halved since 2000, from 21% down to 9%, 673million people continue this practice in high burden countries. Moreover, in 39countries, the majority of which are in sub-Saharan Africa, the number of people openly defecating has grown. The Teport also highlights new data showing that within 2017, three milliard people lacked basic soap and water handwashing facilities at home, including nearly three quarters of those in the Least Developed Countries category. Every year, 297,000under-age-five children die from diarrhea linked to inadequate WASH. Poor sanitation and contaminated water also help transmit diseases, such as cholera, dysentery, hepatitis A, and typhoid. In meanwhile, while commention on the Report, UNICEF Kelly Ann Naylor, WASH Associate Director has said a mere access to the water is not enogh. «If the water isnt clean, isnt safe to drink or is far away, and if toilet access is unsafe or limited, then were not delivering for the worlds children,» she admitted. «Children and their families within poor and rural communities are most at risk of being left behind», Naylor said, urging governments worldwide to «invest into their communities if we are going to bridge these economic and geographic divides and deliver this essential human right».

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