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News Meeting the MDG target will require extraordinary efforts, says UN report

With half the developing world without basic sanitation, meeting the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target will require extraordinary efforts, according to a new UN report. At the current rate, the target of halving the proportion of people without basic sanitation by 2015, will be missed by 600 million. The region demanding most attention is sub-Saharan Africa, where the absolute number of people without access to sanitation actually increased – from 335 million in 1990 to 440 million people by the end of 2004.

Open defecation, poor hygiene and lack of safe drinking water contribute to about 88 per cent of the annual deaths due to diarrhoeal diseases – more than 1.5 million – in children under age five. Poor nutrition in combination with infestation of intestinal worms caused by open defecation affects hundreds of millions of predominantly school-aged children, resulting in reduced physical growth, weakened physical fitness, impaired cognitive functions, and eventually in a decline in academic performance and school attendance. Intestinal worms can also lead to anaemia, which, for girls, increases the risks later of complications in childbirth.

Contact information n/a
News type Inbrief
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Source of information IRC
Keyword(s) MDGs, UNEP-MAP
Geographical coverage International
News date 03/08/2007
Working language(s) ENGLISH