Clean and reliable drinking water is essential for good health. In developing regions, 84 percent of the population has access to improved drinking water, with 96 percent having access in urban areas. In rural areas, the number of people without clean drinking water is more than five times the number in urban areas.
The world is on track to meet the Millennium Development Goal of cutting in half the number of people without access to clean water by 2015, but progress in uneven; most of the improvements are in China and India, with Sub-Saharan Africa lagging (37 percent of people without access to clean water live there).
The Bank’s urban water projects support appropriate regulation, proper pricing and targeting of subsidies, involvement of local providers, improved governance, and additional resources. Its work in rural water services includes expanding access and making current systems more reliable and sustainable.
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