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Sub-Saharan Africa: Drinking Water

Question for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

UIN 20324, tabled on 22 June 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of progress in delivering the Sustainable Development Goal on the supply of clean drinking water in countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

Answered on

28 June 2021

The Joint Monitoring Programme (hosted by the World Health Organization and United Nations' International Children's Emergency Fund) is the global monitoring mechanism that tracks progress against the water supply and sanitation targets of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The Joint Monitoring Programme's most recent update concludes that since 2000, the proportion of the population of sub-Saharan Africa using safely managed drinking water supplies has risen from 18% to 27%. By comparison, the global estimate is 71%, indicating that more needs to be done. Less progress has been made on sanitation. Access to safely managed sanitation services has only increased from 15% to 18% since 2000. For both water supply and sanitation, progress is slower in rural areas compared to urban areas. The Joint Monitoring Programme also reports differences in coverage between the better-off and poorest households and regions within countries.

Between 2015 and 2020 the UK supported 62.6 million people to gain access to basic water and sanitation services. Africa was the largest beneficiary of our water supply, sanitation and hygiene programmes, with 26.3 million beneficiaries reached and we targeted some of the poorest communities in Africa. Our support to the region will continue by helping governments deliver reliable and climate resilient water and sanitation services that can reach the poorest households.

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