The Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target of halving the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water was met by 2010, and by the end of 2012, 89 per cent of all people were using an improved water source. But the work is not yet done: 783 million people are still living without access to an improved source of drinking water and it is likely that, in 2015, 605 million people will continue to lack coverage.
Sanitation availability is somewhat behind. Coverage increased from 36 per cent to 56 per cent between 1990 and 2010 in developing regions, with progress slow in Western Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, and no improvement in Oceania. Overall, by 2015, the world will have reached coverage of only 67 per cent, rather than the 75 per cent needed to achieve its MDG target of halving the proportion of people without sustainable access to basic sanitation.