The United Nations (UN) has announced it has met its Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of reducing by half the number of people without access to safe drinking water has been met three years ahead of its 2015 deadline.


According to the UN report, between 1990 and 2010, over two billion people gained access to improved drinking water sources, such as piped supplies and protected wells.


“Today we recognize a great achievement for the people of the world,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said upon the release of the report, entitled ‘Progress on Drinking Water and Sanitation 2012’ and produced by the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation.


“This is one of the first MDG targets to be met. The successful efforts to provide greater access to drinking water are a testament to all who see the MDGs not as a dream, but as a vital tool for improving the lives of millions of the poorest people.”


 The report estimates that by 2015, some 92 per cent of the global population will have access to improved drinking water.


“For children this is especially good news,” said UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake. “Every day more than 3,000 children die from diarrhoeal diseases. Achieving this goal will go a long way to saving children’s lives.”


Mr. Lake cautioned that victory can not yet be declared because at least 11 per cent of the world’s population – 783 million people – are still without access to safe drinking water, and billions live without sanitation facilities.


“The numbers are still staggering,” he said, “But the progress announced today is proof that MDG targets can be met with the will, the effort and the funds,


The full report can be found here