Bali Meeting - Final opportunity for High Level Panel to commit to Water and Sanitation for all


25 Mar 2013 | AU

WaterAid is calling on international leaders gathered in Bali to support a call for the setting of an ambitious target for providing access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene for everyone by 2030.

The UN High Level Panel on the post 2015 development framework is having its last meeting in Bali, Indonesia on 25 March. The panel is responsible for developing a new vision to guide international development efforts beyond the Millennium Development Goals which expire in 2015.

WaterAid’s new report ‘Everyone Everywhere’(1) launched by High Level Panel Co-Chair and Nobel Prize Winner, President Sirleaf Johnson, sets out a vision for making safe water and sanitation available to all and reviews the progress that has been made to date in tackling water and sanitation poverty.

Writing the foreword to the WaterAid report, President Sirleaf Johnson of Liberia stated:

“Addressing the global water and sanitation crisis is not about charity, but opportunity. According to the World Health Organisation, every $1 invested in water and sanitation produces an average of $4 in increased productivity. It enables sustainable and equitable economic growth. In short, it will not be possible to make progress in eradicating poverty, reducing inequality and securing sustainable economic development in the future without improving access.”

The report finds that, despite reaching the MDG for access to water in March 2010(2), lack of progress in improving access to sanitation and hygiene is acting as a brake on progress in economic and human development particularly in child health, nutrition and education. More than 2.4 billion people will still lack access to basic sanitation facilities in 2015 if progress is made at the same rate(3). This means it will take at least 53 years to achieve universal access(4).

Adam Laidlaw, CEO of WaterAid Australia, speaking in Bali said:

“We have made progress improving access to clean water but the huge unfinished business of sanitation demands new ways of working and new forms of partnership to accelerate progress post-2015.”
“Getting water, sanitation and hygiene to everyone by 2030 is a realistic goal which the international community should now support. WASH is essential for progress in many other areas of development such as health, education, nutrition, gender equality and economic growth. We cannot eradicate poverty without it.”

South Asian economies could gain $50 billion every year from everyone having access to water and sanitation. Of this $3.8 billion would come from reduced healthcare costs; $9.5 billion could be gained from reduced mortality; $2.5 billion from less time taken off from work; and a staggering $35 billion in general time saved(2).

The benefits for South Asia in lives saved from everyone having access to water and sanitation on the continent are also significant. It is estimated by the Institute of Health Metrics that around 710,000 people die of diarrhoea diseases every year in South Asia(3), 88% of these deaths, according to the World Health Organisation, can be attributed to a lack of water, sanitation and hygiene(4) , that equates to 625,000 deaths due to a lack of these services.

To tackle this problem now, WaterAid is calling on the international community to:

  1. Ensure the post-2015 development framework reflects the central contribution of water, sanitation and hygiene to other areas of poverty reduction, including health, education, nutrition, gender equality, economic growth and sustainability;
  2. Support calls to include a goal on universal access to water, sanitation and hygiene by 2030 within the post-2015 development framework;
  3. Lead a concerted effort to tackle the unfinished business of the sanitation MDG and` accelerate future rates of progress on water, sanitation and hygiene as an essential foundation for eradicating poverty




Sanitation and Water for All partners WaterAid and UNICEF are co-convening a thematic session on ‘The unfinished business of sanitation MDG’ in collaboration with the Asia Pacific Parliamentarian and CSO Forum as part of the outreach programme of the UN High Level Panel Meeting in Bali. Key messages from the meeting will be presented to High Level Panel members by a delegation of MPs, parliamentarians and CSO representatives.


Spokespeople are available on request, please get in touch with one of the contacts below.

Tom Slaymaker: Deputy Head of Policy, WaterAid
Mobile (in Bali): +447500096000
Email: [email protected]

James Wicken: Head of Policy and Campaigns, WaterAid Australia
Mobile (in Bali): +61403497316
Email: [email protected]

Hratche Koundarjian: Senior Media Officer, WaterAid
Direct line: +44 (0)207 793 4909 / +44 (0)7905 911 039
Email: [email protected]

  1. Everyone, Everywhere - A vision for water, sanitation and hygiene post-2015 - report can be downloaded from here.
  2. Millennium Development Goal drinking water target met Sanitation target still lagging far behind – UNICEF & WHO press release can be accessed here.
  3. Progress on Drinking Water and Sanitation 2012 – UNICEF report can be accessed here.
  4. WaterAid projections based on the latest Joint Monitoring Programme figures, available on request.
  5. Saving lives: sanitation and water for all would save 2.5 million lives – WaterAid discussion paper can be accessed here.
  6. Global costs and benefits of drinking-water supply and sanitation interventions to reach the MDG target and universal coverage – WHO report can be accessed here.
  7. Global costs and benefits of drinking-water supply and sanitation interventions to reach the MDG target and universal coverage – WHO report can be accessed here.

WaterAid’s vision is of a world where everyone has access to safe water and sanitation. The international organisation works in 27 countries across Africa, South Asia and the Pacific region to transform lives by improving access to safe water, hygiene and sanitation in some of the world’s poorest communities. Since 1981, WaterAid has reached 17.5 million people with safe water and, since 2004, 12.9 million people with sanitation. For more information, visit , follow @wateraid on Twitter or visit us on Facebook at

  • Around 2,000 children die every day from diseases caused by dirty water and poor sanitation.
  • 783 million people in the world live without safe water. This is roughly one in ten of the world's population
  • 2.5 billion people live without sanitation; this is 39% of the world's population.
  • For every $1 invested in water and sanitation, an average of $4 is returned in increased productivity.

About the progress made on water poverty

  • Nearly eleven percent of the world’s population still lack access to water today and by 2015 that will be 8%.
  • More than two billion people have gained access to improved drinking water since 1990.
  • The UN Secretary General announced that the water MDG target was met on the 6th of March 2012. The report that includes details of meeting the target can be downloaded from
  • Access to water has proved uneven. In sub-Saharan Africa, almost 9 out of 10 of the richest population use improved water sources, while only 35% of the poorest do. In the 50 poorest (least developed countries - LDCs), much of the population has not benefited from investment in drinking water. Coverage globally stands at 89%, but it is only 63% in LDCs.
  • 37% of the world’s population still lack access to sanitation and by 2015 that will be 33%. Sub-Saharan Africa on current trends is not likely to have universal access to sanitation for another 350 years (2360).