‘Leaving no one behind’
Improved water resources management and access to safe water and sanitation for all is essential for eradicating poverty, building peaceful and prosperous societies, and ensuring that ‘no one is left behind’ on the path towards sustainable development.
Access to safe, affordable and reliable drinking water and sanitation services are basic human rights. Billions still lack safe water and sanitation facilities while rapid urbanization is on the rise with a growing number of slums, and hence more people without access to water and sanitation networks.
Equitable access to water for agricultural production can make the difference between farming as a mere means of survival and farming as a reliable source of livelihoods. Three-quarters of people living in extreme poverty live in rural areas. The vast majority of the rural poor are smallholder family farmers. While they constitute the backbone of national food supplies – contributing to more than half of the agricultural production in many countries – they themselves often suffer from food insecurity and malnutrition.
Refugees and internally displaced people often face barriers in accessing water supply and sanitation services. Overcoming exclusion and inequality are still major challenges on the way to achieving access to clean water for all. Increasing investments in water supply and sanitation is vital. When resources are limited, it makes sense to target areas where populations have the least access to water-related services.
The report was published in Geneva, Palais des Nations, on 19 March 2019.
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