Two billion people lack basic sanitation and 72 per cent of them live in rural areas. At the current pace, universal access to safely managed sanitation will not become a reality until the 22nd century. Diseases linked to poor sanitation and hygiene hit children and the most vulnerable hardest – women and girls are affected disproportionally by poor access. Making sanitation and hygiene a political priority and investing the required resources remains a struggle for many countries.
At the same time, donor expenditure for basic sanitation has been declining since 2015. Although successes have been achieved, past programs have not yet managed to deliver equitable and sustainable results at scale. Plan International UK, SNV, UNICEF, WaterAid, the World Bank and WSSCC are calling on all stakeholders to renew their commitment to rural sanitation and hygiene and step up their ambitions and investments.