The World Health Organisation (WHO) and the UN-Water sounded the alarm for an urgent increase in investment in strong drinking-water and sanitation systems recently.
The call came as the international water sector met in Stockholm for its annual conference during World Water Week (25-30 August 2019). It is triggered by a new report published by WHO on behalf of UN-Water that reveals that weak government systems and a lack of human resources and funds are jeopardising the delivery of water and sanitation services in the world’s poorest countries – and undermining efforts to ensure health for all.
The UN-Water Global Assessment and Analysis of Sanitation and Drinking-Water 2019 (known as the GLAAS report) surveyed 115 countries and territories, representing 4.5 billion people. It showed that, in an overwhelming majority of countries, the implementation of water, sanitation and hygiene policies and plans is constrained by inadequate human and financial resources. Nineteen countries and one territory reported a funding gap of more than 60% between identified needs and available funding. Less than 15% of countries have the financial or human resources needed to implement their plans.