Access to water, sanitation and hygiene is a basic human right and contributes to a healthy, dignified existence and gender equality.
Improved management of surface water contributes to water security (sufficient water to meet the needs of agriculture and industry and for drinking), flood safety and protection against drought.
Adaptation to climate change, improved water management, safe drinking water and sanitation are also essential to achieve other development goals such as poverty reduction, food security and more equality.
In the reporting period, 2.9 million people gained access to an improved water source. For the second year in succession this was higher than the estimate (1.6 million). Many of the results were achieved in bilateral programmes in Bangladesh, Benin, Ghana, Mozambique, the Palestinian Territories, South Sudan and Yemen.
5.3 million people gained access to improved sanitation. As in the previous reporting period, this far exceeded the target of approximately 2.3 million people. By way of comparison: in the previous reporting period, 3.6 million people gained access to improved sanitation. Various major programmes, including UNICEF and the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council’s (WSSCC) Global Sanitation Fund, provided many people with sanitation this year.
In the reporting period, more than 669,000 people in Africa and Asia benefited from improved river basin management and safer deltas through projects funded by the Netherlands. This result is lower than the target, which is to reach an average of 3 million people a year, but it falls within the range of expected annual variations (in the 2016/2017 reporting year, more than 10 million people were reached). These variations are due to early or late completion of specific projects, phasing out of long-term projects (e.g. in Indonesia), the launch of new projects (e.g. in the Sahel), adjustments to attribution, and water or climate-related events impacting on project results.