This is the tenth in a series of 15 facts over 15 days that we will be sharing with you to get you up to speed on what’s at stake in 2015.
Between 1990 and 2012, the proportion of people worldwide with access to improved sanitation increased from 47% to 64%, but sanitation remains one of the most off-track MDG targets, with 2.5 billion people lacking access today.
Poor sanitation and hygiene are issues that disproportionately impact women and girls – for example, many girls are forced to drop out of school when they reach puberty because there are no toilets, and women and girls are at greater risk of violence when venturing out to use public latrines or practice open defecation, especially after dark.
This year, we have the opportunity to change all this, if governments commit to ensuring adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all by 2030. This would prevent hundreds of millions of needless deaths, and could save as much as $260 billion to the global economy annually. Sources: World Bank, Sanitation and World Development Indicators; UNICEF, WASH.