Access to safe water and hygienic sanitation are fundamental to good health. In 2008, 2.6 billion people – 40 percent of the world’s population -- had no access to improved sanitation facilities. Every year, 1.5 million children die due to diarrhea caused by the combined effects of inadequate sanitation, unsafe water supply, and poor personal hygiene.
The Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target is to reduce by half the proportion of people without access to basic sanitation by 2015. Progress has been slow and, at the current rate, the world will miss the MDG target.