Tripling infrastructure investment will make global water access a reality

Tripling infrastructure investment will make global water access a reality.
Countries are not investing in infrastructure fast enough to meet water and sanitation targets under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), according to a new report published by World Health Organisation (WHO).
“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,” Dr Maria Neira, director of the department of public health, environmental and social determinants of health at the WHO said.
“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,” she added.
Global water budgets The report stressed that countries would not meet global goals 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.
Yet, 80% of countries report that water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) financing is still insufficient to meet nationally defined targets for WASH services.
Lack of infrastructure The report showed that in many developing countries, current national coverage targets are based on achieving access to basic infrastructure, which may not always provide continuously safe and reliable services.
While the infrastructure funding gap remains vast, 147 countries have already showed their ability to mobilise the resources required to meet the Millennium Development Goal target of halving the proportion of people without an improved source of water, while 95 countries met the corresponding target for sanitation.
These include taxes, tariffs (payments and labour from households), and transfers from donors.
“This is a challenge we have the ability to solve,” Guy Ryder, UN-Water chair said.

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