Sub-Saharan Africa: Water

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 24th September 2020.

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Photo of Gregory Campbell Gregory Campbell Shadow DUP Spokesperson (International Development), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Cabinet Office)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of whether the Millennium Development Goal targets on access to clean water by the end of 2020 will be met in sub-Saharan Africa.

Photo of James Duddridge James Duddridge Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

The UK Government works with the United Nations Statistics Division via the UNICEF and WHO Joint Monitoring Programme, an initiative which the UK supports, to assess progress against sanitation and water goals. The Millennium Development Goal target to reduce by half the number of people without access to improved water supply was not met in the sub-Saharan Africa region.

The Millennium Development Goal targets were superseded by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The sub-Saharan Africa Region is currently not on track to reach the SDG access to water target by the target year of 2030. The most recent evidence on access to safe water suggests that only 61% of people in sub-Saharan Africa had access to at least basic water supply services in 2017. The impact of COVID-19 makes attainment of the global goals harder but also more urgent as access to water is vital to enable people to wash their hands to stop the spread of the virus.

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