Water Sanitation Health

Sanitation challenge: Turning commitment into reality


International development targets

In September 2000, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a number of Millennium Development Goals that challenged the global community to reduce poverty and increase the health and well-being of all peoples. In September 2002, the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg reaffirmed these goals and added specific targets on sanitation and hygiene.

By including sanitation and hygiene in the Millennium Development Goals and in the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, the global community has acknowledged the importance of promoting sanitation and hygiene as development interventions and has set a series of goals and targets to:

  • Halve, by 2015, the proportion of people without access to basic sanitation
  • Improve sanitation in public institutions, especially schools
  • Promote safe hygiene practices
  • Promote affordable and socially and culturally acceptable technologies and practices
  • Integrate sanitation into water resources management strategies
  • Implement plans, national policies and incentives for waste minimisation and improved recycling and use of wastewater
  • Develop innovative financing and partnership mechanisms
  • Build institutional capacity and develop programmes for waste collection and disposal services for unserved populations; strengthen existing information networks
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