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World Bank, Washington, DC
Africa | Kenya
2014-03-10T23:08:35Z | 2014-03-10T23:08:35Z | 2005-01

Access to safe water supply has been one of the top priorities in developing countries over the past three to four decades, and billions of dollars have been invested in pursuit of the goal of universal service. And yet the general consensus at the 2002 United Nations World Summit on Sustainable Development was that the current reality-as well as the situation expected in the near future-are far from that goal (The Economist Sept. 7-13, 2002). In fact, recent reports emphasize that the world is facing a serious water crisis and that water access and service delivery in the developing world need to be improved dramatically and urgently, especially if we are to make gains in the fight against poverty, hunger, and disease (United Nations 2003). World leaders not only agree that water is an important part of the core development agenda but have also committed to ambitious targets for expanding access to water services. At the U.N. Millennium Summit in 2000 and subsequently at the Johannesburg Earth Summit in 2002, world leaders agreed to a set of time-bound and measurable development targets-widely known as the Millennium Development Goals for 2015-which include a commitment to halve the proportion of people without access to safe drinking water.


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