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Submitted by Ana Gren on

Thank you for this great piece and initiative to get some feedback from. Just to add some thoughts to this discussion on the importance to continue to work diligently and with a greater focus on the poorest and most margilized urban populations. The estimates of nearly 1 billion people or about one third of the world’s urban population living in unplanned, informal settlements and slums with minimal access to almost any services, nor access to safe water and sanitation, are most acute. So perhaps we ought to focus global efforts on the most affected populations. In this regard I want to propose that we consider the need to distinguish between urban population aspects vs urban slum population aspects; between aspects such as slum health and urban health. This point has been researched and featured in a recent article published in the Lancet in Oct 2016, "The health of slums", which emphasises the impact of lack of access to WASH services and infrastructure in slums environments. Among the findings the health of children and women are of tremendous concern, as children living in these types of environmental are at a much higher risk of infectious and diahorral diseases, and estimates presented indicate that child mortality rates are at a similar level as in poorer rural areas; sometimes even higher. The rapid increase in population in urban areas means that improvements in infrastructure and access to water and sanitation will be essential for public health and overall development, and in this regard we would all agree that without a healthy population we will not be able to reach the objectives of Agenda 2030.
Thus perhaps there is a need to increase efforts on supporting SDG6 with this focus, as well as a special focus in the need for greater in depth research on these aspects in urban slums.
Looking forward to having the chance to continue these discussions in the near future! Kindest regards, Ana