UN-Water and the World Health Organization (WHO) have released the 2022 edition of the Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-Water (GLAAS) report, which presents the latest data from 121 countries and territories and 23 external support agencies. The report highlights opportunities to accelerate progress in key areas that positively affect the quality and sustainability of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services and delivery, pandemic preparedness, and resilience to climate change.

The report finds that “[w]hile 45% of countries are on track to achieve their drinking-water coverage targets, only 25% of countries are on track to achieve their sanitation targets.”

Commenting on the report’s launch, UN-Water Chair and International Labour Organization (ILO) Director-General Gilbert Houngbo underscored that the world is “seriously off-track” to achieve water and sanitation for all by 2030. As a result, he said, billions of people are left “dangerously exposed to infectious diseases, especially in the aftermath of disasters, including climate change-related events.”

The report identifies “a critical lack of financial and human resources” for implementation of WASH policies and plans in healthcare facilities, and while government spending is stable or slightly increasing, 75% of countries report insufficient WASH funding. In addition, between 2017 and 2020, aid for water supply and sanitation decreased by 5.6%, with the proportion of WASH aid in sub-Saharan Africa dropping from 32% to 23%. At the same time, the proportion of WASH aid in Central and Southern Asia increased from 12% to 20%, and in Eastern and South-Eastern Asia – from 11% to 20%.

The report warns that measures to reach the vulnerable with WASH services lack monitoring and financial resources, pointing to the need for increased inclusion, financial support, and monitoring to make sure WASH decisions and services consider women.

Among other obstacles, the report highlights that:

  • Insufficient human resources are limiting WASH service delivery;
  • Regulatory authorities often do not fully perform their functions;
  • Most WASH policies and plans do not address climate-related risks to WASH services; and
  • Data are not sufficiently used in decisions on planning or resource allocation for WASH.

Published every two years, the GLAAS assessment seeks to provide policymakers with a reliable and comprehensive analysis of WASH systems to enable informed decisions for sanitation, drinking water, and hygiene. In collaboration with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and UN Development Programme (UNDP), GLAAS monitors the implementation of SDG targets 6.a (By 2030, expand international cooperation and capacity-building support to developing countries in water- and sanitation-related activities and programmes, including water harvesting, desalination, water efficiency, wastewater treatment, recycling and reuse technologies) and 6.b (Support and strengthen the participation of local communities in improving water and sanitation management).

The 2022 GLAAS report seeks to inform commitments, priority setting, and actions during the second half of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and for UN 2023 Water Conference. [Publication: Strong Systems and Sound Investments: Evidence on and Key Insights into Accelerating Progress on Sanitation, Drinking-water and Hygiene] [Publication Landing Page] [UN News Story] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story about 2019 GLAAS Report]