Improving Access to Urban Services for the Poor

Open Issues and a Framework for a Future Research Agenda

Access to safe water and sanitation is essential for health, security, livelihoods, and quality of life. Inadequate access to safe water and exposure to pathogens through the poor treatment of solid waste leads to adverse health consequences, particularly diarrheal diseases. Diarrhea is responsible for an estimated 21% of under-five mortality in developing countries–2.5 million deaths per year, and over 4% of the world’s disease burden. However, the developing world–particularly Asia and Africa–is lagging in water and sanitation coverage. Nearly 2.4 billion people are expected to remain without access to proper sanitation in 2015.