The WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation (JMP) reports every two years on progress towards the drinking-water and sanitation target under Millennium Development Goal 7. This target calls for halving the proportion of the population without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation between 1990 and 2015. Estimates presented in its 2012 update report describe the situation at the end 2010 and supersede those of the JMP update published in March 2010.
The report brings welcome news: measured by the proxy-indicator consistently used by the JMP since 2000, the MDG drinking-water target was met in 2010, five years ahead of schedule. However, the job is far from done. An estimated 780 million still lacked safe drinking water in 2010, and the world is unlikely to meet the MDG sanitation target. A reduction in urban-rural disparities and inequities associated with poverty; drinking-water coverage in countries in sub-Saharan Africa and Oceania; putting sanitation ‘on track’; and universal coverage beyond 2015 all remain high on the development and public health agenda.