Facts and Figures

The full cost of meeting the MDG sanitation target tops USD 9.5 billion

  •  The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates the total annual cost of meeting the 2015 Millennium Development Goal target for sanitation at just over USD 9.5 billion. 
  • If estimates of current costs are correct, resources in the sanitation sector would have to be almost doubled to meet the 2015 target (although estimates of current spending probably underestimate the contributions by households to their own sanitation services). If the full cost of tertiary wastewater treatment for waste streams in urban areas is added, the total rises to USD100 billion, the current value of total annual official development assistance.
  • In 2008, 57% of the world’s population had a piped connection to their dwelling, plot or yard, and 30% used other improved drinking water sources. The remaining 13% (884 million people) relied on unimproved sources. Progress has been greatest in East Asia, with an increase in coverage of improved drinking water sources from 69% in 1990 to 89% in 2008. Except for sub-Saharan Africa and Oceania, all regions are on track to meet the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) drinking water target. But if current trends continue, 2.7 billion people will still be without access to basic sanitation by 2015.

Related themes: Water, Sanitation and Health; Investing in Infrastructure; Millennium Development Goals

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