What costs the world $260 billion each year? Guy Hutton | Source: World Bank Water Blog, Feb 11, 2013 |
More people today have access to a cell phone than to a clean toilet. At the current rate of progress the world will miss the global sanitation target for 2015 by over half a billion people. And while the drinking water global target was met last year, nearly a billion people still lack access to an improved drinking water source. Most of these statistics are well known by water and sanitation experts, and the wider development community. Perhaps, less known is the economic cost of the water and sanitation crisis.
Poor sanitation and water supply result in economic losses estimated at US$260 billion annually in developing countries, or 1.5% of their GDP. The benefits from meeting the water supply and sanitation (WSS) MDG targets combined equal over US$60 billion annually and combined WSS interventions have a US$4.3 return for every dollar invested.