Water Sanitation Health

Progress on sanitation and drinking-water: 2015 update and MDG assessment

African woman washing her hands
WHO/ Stéphane Saporito

2015 marks the end of the Millennium Development Goal period, and while the global target for drinking-water was met ahead of schedule, the target for sanitation was missed by nearly 700 million people. The new Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) update report presents final MDG assessments for countries, regions, and the world, as well as a reflection on changes in monitoring of water, sanitation and hygiene since 1990.

Sanitation safety planning

The Sanitation safety planning manual provides step-by-step guidance to assist in the implementation of the 2006 WHO Guidelines for Safe Use of Wastewater Excreta, and Greywater. The approach and tools may also be applied to all sanitary systems to ensure the system is managed to meet health objectives.

Water, sanitation and hygiene in health care facilities: status in middle- and low-income countries way forward

Drawing on data from 54 low- and middle-income countries, the WHO/UNICEF report concludes that 38% lack access to even rudimentary levels of water, 19% lack sanitation and 35% do not have water and soap for handwashing. In addition to documenting gaps, the report issues a call to action to strengthen policies and standards, human and financial resources, improvements at the facility level and global and national monitoring.

UN-Water Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-Water

The UN-Water Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-Water (GLAAS 2014), published biannually, presents data from 94 countries and 23 external support agencies. It offers a comprehensive analysis of strengths and challenges in water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) within and across countries.

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About us

WHO works on aspects of water, sanitation and hygiene where the health burden is high, where interventions could make a major difference and where the present state of knowledge is poor. Our work is divided into six core activities:

  • Drinking-water quality management
  • Water supply and sanitation monitoring
  • Cholera surveillance and prevention
  • Water and sanitation in different settings
  • Water resources management
  • Other activities (including economic aspects, climate change, and the Millenium Development Goals).