JMP update highlights progress and inequalities in access to WASH

13 Jul, 2017

JMP 2017

The Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) report, Progress on drinking water, sanitation and hygiene: 2017 update and Sustainable Development Goal baselines, was launched today. It is the first report on global progress against the water, sanitation and hygiene targets of the Sustainable Development Goals.

The report highlights that 71% of the global population (5.2 billion people) use a safely managed drinking water service (i.e. one located on premises, available when needed and free from contamination), while 839 million people still lack even a basic drinking water service (i.e. improved source within 30 minutes’ round trip to collect water). 264 million people spend over 30 minutes per round trip to collect water from an improved source.

Regarding sanitation, 39% of global population (2.9 billion people) use a safely managed sanitation service (i.e. excreta safely disposed of in situ or treated off-site), but 2.3 billion people still lack even a basic sanitation service. 892 million people worldwide still practise open defecation. In 90 countries, progress towards basic sanitation is too slow, meaning it is expected they will not reach universal coverage by 2030.

For the first time the JMP also collected data on hygiene. Coverage of basic handwashing facilities with soap and water varied from 15% in sub-Saharan Africa to 76% in Western Asia and Northern Africa, but data are currently insufficient to produce an estimate for other regions.

Commenting on the update, Catarina de Albuquerque, SWA’s Executive Chair, said, “The JMP update continues to show a positive trend towards universal access, while also highlighting one of our sector’s biggest challenges: inequalities. I encourage all SWA partners to use the JMP data to adjust their resources, plans and policies to prioritize those who have been left behind.”  

The full report is available on

About the Joint Monitoring Programme

The WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) for Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene is the official United Nations mechanism tasked with monitoring country, regional and global progress, and especially towards the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals relating to universal and equitable access to drinking water, sanitation and hygiene. Thanks to the globally supported household surveys, JMP analysis helps draw connections between use of basic water and sanitation facilities and quality of life, and serves as an authoritative reference to make policy decisions and resource allocations, especially at the international level.