World Water Day: Nearly 750 Million People Still Without Clean Drinking Water

Author:     Published time:2016-11-30 17:10     Reading times:487    

Access to drinking water has been one of the biggest successes of the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals,it report said ahead of World Water Day on March 22, but for 747 million people around the world, just obtaining this essential service remains a challenge.

“The story of access to drinking water since 1991 has been one of tremendous progress in the face of incredible odds,” the head of UNICEF’s global Water, Sanitation and Hygiene programs, in a press release. “But there is more to do. Water is the very essence of life and yet three-quarters of a billion people – mostly the poor and the marginalized – still today are deprived of this most basic human right.”

World Water Day: Nearly 750 Million People Still Without Clean Drinking Water

Some 2.3 billion people have gained access to improved sources of drinking water since 1991. As a result, the target of halving the percentage of the global population without access at that date was reached five years ahead of the 2015 deadline. There are now only three countries – Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mozambique and Papua New Guinea – where more than half the population do not have improved drinking water.

But, despite this progress, significant disparities persist, UNICEF says. Of the 748 million people globally still without access, 91% live in rural areas, and are being left behind in their countries’ progress.

For children, lack of access to safe drinking water can be tragic, UNICEF says. On average, nearly 1,000 of them die every day from diseases linked to unsafe drinking water, poor sanitation, or poor hygiene.

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