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United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Program for Water Supply and Sanitation

Publication Year: 2015 Publisher: Unicef


In 2000 the Member States of the United Nations signed the Millennium Declaration, which later gave rise to the
Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Goal 7, to ensure environmental sustainability, included a target that
challenged the global community to halve, by 2015, the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe
drinking water and basic sanitation. The WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Program for Water Supply and Sanitation (JMP), which began monitoring the sector in 1990, has provided regular estimates of progress towards the MDG targets, tracking changes over the 25 years to 2015.

In 1990, global coverage of the use of improved drinking water sources and sanitation facilities stood at 76 per cent and 54 per cent, with respective MDG targets of 88 per cent and 77 per cent by 2015. The challenges were huge, as the global figures hid vast disparities in coverage between countries, many of which were battling poverty, instability and rapid population growth.

The JMP has monitored the changes in national, regional and global coverage, establishing a large and robust
database and presenting analysis not only of the indicators detailed in the original framework for the MDGs, but also many other parameters. The analysis has helped shed light on the nature of progress and the extent to which the ambition and vision of the MDGs have been achieved. It has also helped to identify future priorities to be addressed in the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals.