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Published on: 20/07/2023

DENVER and INDIANAPOLIS and THE HAGUE, July 20, 2023 – The latest report delivered by WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme confirms that the world is far from being on track in achieving the sustainable development targets for water, sanitation and hygiene. The data from some countries and the focus on gender, however, fills One For All members with optimism. Achieving universal access by 2030 is within reach for many countries.

One For All members react to the latest JMP report ‘Progress on household drinking water, sanitation and hygiene 2000-2022: special focus on gender’ published earlier this month.

One For All remains optimistic about the future. The UN report reaffirms that where countries apply principles of a joint vision with ambitious targets and possess the strong systems and political leadership to achieve them, universal access to at least basic services is within reach. One For All aims to do just this—to galvanise political leadership at country, regional and global levels towards strong systems to deliver services, through collective action. The report shows that where there is strong political leadership, remarkable progress is being made.

“Ghana is making steady progress towards achieving the target of universal water services, however that cannot be said of sanitation. Access to water is 88% while sanitation unfortunately stands at only 29%. Considering the high rate of growth in access to water, it is projected that by 2030 the country will come very close to achieving universal access at ~97%. We believe that by putting in the extra effort and recognising the interconnectivity with the other SDGs, we can build the synergetic effects to bridge the last gap. To be successful, we need to change how we see and value water and sanitation and subsequently place them at the centre of political decisions and adopt transformational measures to reach the last mile.”

Vida Duti, Country Director Ghana, IRC

Moving the needle on all the key indicators of safely managed water and sanitation services since 2019 wouldn’t have been possible without a strong political will and putting the money where the mouth is, for India. Of course, new challenges will emerge in terms of collecting and disposing of faecal waste safely for sanitation or ensuring water flows through the newly installed pipes and taps but this creates new opportunities for jobs in the WASH sector as well. For now, what is more reassuring as a thought is that with toilets in their homes, lots of women won’t have to walk at night nor would they have to trudge long distances to fetch water, anymore.

Bishwadeep Ghose, Country Director, Water For People, India

There are also countries that show worrying statistics, with levels of access decreasing in some of the most fragile and vulnerable countries.

"By 2030, the endpoint of the SDGs, an estimated 80 percent of the world’s extreme poor will live in these volatile countries. The U.N. Secretary-General has warned that climate change and environmental degradation are key risk multipliers for fragile states and vulnerable regions." (source). Unfortunately the latest JMP data continue to show this trend in places like the Central African Republic and Burkina Faso. Systems strengthening is key to overcoming these challenges and reversing the trends. That is why members of One For All are committed to working in these challenging contexts and environments. It is where the need is greatest, but we know that it can be overcome with the proper level of support.”

Jon Allen, CEO, Water for Good.

Because systems don’t work in isolation, One For All applauds the linkage the report makes in achieving SDG 5, focusing on gender equality and empowerment of women and girls,

“I'm thrilled to see the focus on gender and WASH and that this JMP report explicitly recognises the interconnectedness between SDG 5 and SDG 6. Indeed, we cannot achieve universal access to water and sanitation without reducing inequities between genders; nor can we achieve gender equity and empower all women and girls if the needs of women and girls are not purposefully addressed.”

Sarah Bramley, Chief Impact Officer, Water For People





Editor's notes

About WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme

The WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (JMP) reports country, regional and global estimates of progress on drinking water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) since 1990. Early July 2023, JMP published a new report presenting estimates for WASH in households for the period 2000 to 2022. The report has a special focus on gender.

About One For All

One For All is an alliance of global organisations led by IRC, Water For People and Water for Good to champion collaborative methods to support water, sanitation and hygiene justice issues across the world. Members work with local, regional and national governments to implement climate resilient systems strengthening strategies. They also partner with champions in health, climate, economic development, education and social justice to encourage sustainable economic growth and address the social justice inequities that come from a lack of access to safe water and sanitation. Alliance members hold themselves accountable to support governments to meet UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 6, water and sanitation for all, by 2030. The actions of one—a person, a community, an organisation—are in support of all.

For more information

Hope Voelkel
Director of Strategic Communications
Water For People

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