The Millennium Development Goal of sharply improving access to safe drinking water has been reached. But China drove a lot of the progress, skewing the data with its size and obscuring problems in Africa.
In these economic times, you take whatever good news you can get.
Last week, the World Bank announced that developing countries appear to have already met their goal of cutting global poverty rates in half by 2015. China was the driving force behind this change, as its booming economy put more and more people to work and lifted millions of its citizens out of the ranks of those who earn less than $1.25 a day.
Today, the World Health Organization and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) announced that the world had also met ahead of schedule the so-called Millennium Development Goal of halving the proportion of the world’s population without access to safe drinking water. More than 2 billion people gained access to drinking water between 1990 and 2010.