Good news in light of World Water Day 2012

14 Mar 2012   |   Blog   |   Long-term Development

Tags:  international aid, Poverty relief, water   |   189 comments

Earthquake damaged cathedral

On 22 March every year, we celebrate the UN-declared World Water Day – which focuses on the importance of freshwater for sustainable development. In light of this important day, we have great news to share.

On 6 March 2012, UNICEF and the World Health Organisation (WHO) reported that the world has met the Millennium Development Goal (MDG)* target of halving the proportion of people without access to safe drinking water, well ahead of the MDG 2015 deadline.

The report revealed that at the end of 2010, 89% of the world’s population used improved drinking water sources, meeting the target. By 2015, an estimated 92% of the global population will have access to improved drinking water.

Lenny Kravitz is helping to spread the word for UNICEF. He said: “Water is the essence of life. It all begins with water. And at the very least, everybody in the world should have access to clean water. To be able to drink, to be able to clean themselves, have proper hygiene.”

Did you know?   

  • 780 million people still lack access to safe drinking water  
  • More than 3,000 children die from diarrhoeal diseases daily.

UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake said that while the numbers are still staggering, the progress announced today [6 March] is proof that MDG targets can be met with the will, the effort and the funds.

What is Caritas Australia doing?

Caritas Australia supports the provision of clean water and sanitation as part of our integrated development strategy. Working with local partners, we have safe drinking water programs in Peru, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and East Timor. 

  • The Mercy Family Health Service provided clean water infrastructure to 28,000 people in Peru  
  • In Zimbabwe, we have improved safe drinking water supplies to over 2,000 people by repairing 20 boreholes, rehabilitating 5 more and establishing 5 deep wells  
  • In Mozambique, we have built 10 new ‘water points’, providing 2,500 people with safe drinking water, and 25 latrines for 50 children and their 75 carers.
  • Learn more about Caritas' work on water and sanitation.

    The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)

    In 2000, 189 nations signed up to the MDGs; 8 highly focused-goals to be implemented and achieved by 2015. Within each goal are a number of targets – 18 all up.

    1. Eradicate Extreme Hunger and Poverty

    2. Achieve Universal Primary Education

    3. Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women

    4. Reduce Child Mortality

    5. Improve Maternal Health

    6. Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other diseases

    7. Ensure Environmental Sustainability (including: halve, by 2015, the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation)**

    8. Develop a Global Partnership for Development

    **The WHO/UNICEF joint report further indicates that the world is far from meeting the MDG target for sanitation – and is unlikely to do so by 2015. Only 63% of the global population has improved sanitation, far short of the 75% target.

    Water is critical for sustainable development, including environmental integrity and the alleviation of poverty and hunger, and is indispensable for human health and wellbeing." – United Nations

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