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Water and sanitation

Many of you have contacted me about water and sanitation.

I certainly agree with you that access to clean drinking water and effective sanitation is vital to give people in developing countries the opportunity to lead healthy, fulfilled, and productive lives. It helps people to be able to work, driving economic growth and ultimately helping developing countries become self-sufficient.

I am pleased that, between 2011 and 2015, the Department for International Development (DFID) helped 62.9 million people, including 22.2 million women, access clean water, better sanitation or improved hygiene conditions. DFID helped build wells, standpipes, pumps, toilets and sewage systems, and encouraged the private sector in developing countries to do more. I know that my ministerial colleagues are intent on matching this success by helping at least another 60 million people get access to clean water and sanitation over the next five years, to stop disease and boost economic opportunity.

I also welcome the adoption of the Global Goals last year. The UK successfully pushed for Goal 6 on water and sanitation for everyone. It is important that the global community work to achieve this and other goals by 2030, so that in the next 15 years we see access to safe and affordable drinking water for all, and access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all, particularly women and girls.

A more healthy, productive and prosperous world is clearly in our national interest, and access to water and sanitation is a key part of this.