Water For Life:Making It Happen

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Publication Title

Water for Life: Making it Happen (2005)

Publication Type

WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme Report


Publication Date



Publication URL




World Water Day, 22 March 2005, heralded the start of the International Decade for Action proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly. Water for Life calls for a coordinated response from the whole United Nations system.

The present report, prepared by the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP), makes clear that achieving the target of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation will bring a payback worth many times the investment involved. It will also bring health, dignity and transformed lives to many millions of the world’s poorest people.

The first part of this report charts the effect that lack of drinking water and sanitation has on people’s lives at different stages (childhood, adolescence, adulthood and old age), highlighting the gender divide and threat posed by HIV/AIDS.

The second part looks at a range of interventions that are being advocated and analyses their potential impact on progress towards the MDG drinking water and sanitation target.

To help you to find out more about the action decade, the report lists web pages that provide background reference materials.There is also a list of the main agencies that provide advocacy and technical support in the water, sanitation and hygiene sector.

The report concludes with statistical tables showing the increase needed to achieve the MDG drinking water and sanitation target (Annex 1) and drinking water and sanitation coverage estimates at regional and global level (Annex 2).

The increasing reliability of coverage data has enabled the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation (JMP) and others to link access to improved drinking water sources and improved sanitation with health, economic and human development statistics.[1]



  1. http://www.wssinfo.org/en/40_wfl_2005.html

See also



Meeting the MDG Drinking Water and Sanitation Targets: The Urban and Rural Challenge of the Decade

Progress in Drinking Water and Sanitation: A special focus on Sanitation

Meeting the MDG Drinking Water and Sanitation Target: A Mid-Term Assessment of Progress

Global Water Supply and Sanitation 2000 Report

UN-Water Global Annual Assessment of Drinking Water and Sanitation

External Resources

WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme Website

The latest JMP country profiles


 JMP 05 text.pdf

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