Summary of the UNICEF-WHO JMP Report (2020-2022).
The “Progress Report on Drinking Water and Sanitation and Hygiene” is the reference document for monitoring Goal 6 of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2015-2030. It is a survey of data from as many countries as possible, carried out jointly by WHO and UNICEF under the Joint Monitoring Program (JMP), which is the repository of global data on water supply, sanitation and hygiene. Every three years, the JMP produces a report on progress in this area, publishing reliable data.
The latest report, published on July 6, 2023, shows the progress made in terms of access to water, but also the progress that still needs to be made to achieve the MDGs, while also presenting the challenges that come under MDG 5 on gender equality. This summary follows the same structure as the report, providing an overview of the key data collected and putting them into perspective in relation to the 2030 targets.
Progress to be stepped up…
This report presents updated national, regional and global estimates of household access to water, sanitation and hygiene for the period 2000-2022. Universal and equitable access to safe drinking water, hygiene and sanitation by 2030 is one of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN and its member countries.
To reach the targets of MDG 6 by 2030, it will be necessary to multiply by six the current rates of progress for safe drinking water, by five for safe sanitation and by three for the provision of basic hygiene services.
…To achieve joint goals
Progress in drinking water, sanitation, health and hygiene is essential to achieving MDG 5, which aims to “achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls”, and this report focuses on gender to reflect this.
Indeed, there are many links between these two SDGs:
- 1.8 billion people obtain their drinking water from sources outside the home, and in seven out of ten cases, women and girls are primarily responsible for collecting water.
- In almost all countries with comparable data, the burden of water transport remains significantly heavier for women and girls than for men. The report’s estimate includes collection from both improved and unimproved drinking water sources.
- More than half a billion people share sanitary facilities and water points with other households. Emerging data shows that among these people, women are more likely than men to feel uncomfortable or unsafe with sanitation facilities, particularly when walking alone after dark.
- The absence of hand-washing facilities has a greater impact on adolescent girls and women, who are the main carers for children and household chores in many countries around the world.
- Inadequate water-sanitation-hygiene (WASH) services limit the ability of adolescent girls and women, as well as other menstruating individuals, to manage their periods in safety and privacy.
Drinking water services
Since 2015, managed drinking water coverage has risen from 69% to 73%, from 56% to 62% in rural areas and from 80% to 81% in urban areas.
Some key data:
- By 2022, 73% of the world’s population will be using safely managed drinking water services, 62% in rural areas and 81% in urban areas.
- 2.2 billion people do not have access to safely managed drinking water, including 1.5 billion with basic services, 292 million with limited services, 296 million with unimproved services and 115 million with surface water.
- Estimates of safely managed services are available for 142 countries and six of the eight SDG regions, representing 51% of the world’s population.
- Achieving universal access to safely managed services by 2030 will require a six-fold increase on current rates of progress (20 times in least developed countries, 19 times in fragile contexts).
Since 2015, sanitation coverage has risen from 49% to 57%, from 36% to 46% in rural areas and from 60% to 65% in urban areas.
In 2022, two out of every 5 people had no safe access to sanitation, and this access varied widely across the world.Some key data:
- By 2022, 57% of the world’s population will be using safely managed sanitation services, 46% in rural areas and 65% in urban areas.
- 3.5 billion people do not have access to safely managed sanitation services, including 1.9 billion with basic services, 570 million with limited services, 545 million with unimproved services and 419 million practicing open defecation.
- Estimates of safely managed services were available for 135 countries and seven of the eight SDG regions, representing 86% of the world’s population.
- Universal access to safely managed services by 2030 will require a five-fold increase on current rates of progress, a 16-fold increase in the least developed countries and a 15-fold increase in fragile contexts.
Since 2015, coverage of hygiene services has increased from 67% to 75%, rising from 53% to 65% in rural areas, but has remained largely unchanged at 83% in urban areas.
In 2022, one in four people will not have access to basic hygiene services, but four regions do not have sufficient data on the subject.
Some key data:
- By 2022, 75% of the world’s population will be using basic sanitation services, 65% in rural areas and 83% in urban areas.
- 2 billion people lack basic sanitation services, including 1.3 billion with limited services and 653 million without facilities.
- Estimates of basic services were available for 84 countries and four of the eight SDG regions, representing 69% of the world’s population.
- Achieving universal access to basic hygiene services by 2030 will require a three-fold increase on current rates of progress (12-fold in least developed countries and eight-fold in fragile contexts).
Menstrual health and hygiene
53 countries had data for at least one menstrual health indicator in 2022, and three-quarters of these were low- or lower-middle-income countries.
Some key data:
- 53 countries have data for at least one menstrual health indicator in 2022, and three-quarters of them were low-income or lower-middle-income.
- Adolescents and women living in rural areas are more likely to use reusable menstrual equipment or no equipment at all.
- Adolescents and women in the poorest wealth quintile and those with material difficulties are more likely to lack a private place to wash and change at home.
- Many adolescent girls and women do not participate in school, work or social activities during menstruation, but there are significant differences between and within countries.
Where do the study data come from?
This is an important question, as not all countries take the same measurements, and some regions of the world are unable to provide data on specific issues. There is a disparity between countries according to their level of wealth, but also by theme. As a result, there is not the same amount of data available, measurable or accessible in all areas.
Ultimately, there is still a great deal of progress to be made to achieve the goals by 2030.
The UNICEF/WHO JMP Report has the immense merit of existing and indicating what remains to be achieved to reach Goal 6 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) decided by UN member states in 2015. Will the World Summit on the SDGs, to be held in New York on September 18, meet the expectations and proposals of water stakeholders to achieve these goals, without forgetting anyone! To be continued in a future issue of Défis Humanitaires.
This summary presents the main findings of the study, while the full report is available here: https://washdata.org/reports/jmp-2023-wash-households-gender-pullout-launch
Summary by Camille CHAMBON