For Media

Hotels for Press
Accommodation levels in Rio de Janeiro are anticipated to be at full occupancy during the conference. While it is not the responsibility of the United Nations to procure accommodation for the media, it should be noted that the Brazilian national organizing committee for Rio+20 has committed to blocking a minimum of 500 hotel rooms in Rio de Janeiro for media covering the conference. Costs must be covered by the media. For more details, visit: http://www.rio20.gov.br For information regarding room availability please contact: Terramar Travel Agency

Emails: reservas2@terramar.tur.br or reservas4@terramar.tur.br or reservas8@terramar.tur.br

Tel: (+55+21) 35120067 or (+55+11) 30142042 or (+55+19) 35145600

Media representatives must present their approval letter and copy rio20.hoteis@itamaraty.gov.br when requesting their accommodations.

Information

UN reports improved access to safe drinking water, but poorest still lagging
The internationally stated goal of improving access to safe drinking water across the globe is likely to be achieved well ahead of the 2015 deadline, but large numbers of people in the world?s least developed regions will still not benefit, according to a United Nations report released today.

Reducing by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation by 2015 is one of the global targets under the internationally-agreed poverty and social development vision known as Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which have a 2015 achievement deadline.

The new study by the UN Children?s Fund (UNICEF) and UN World Health Organization (WHO), entitled Drinking Water Equity, Safety and Sustainability, shows that between 1990 and 2008, the proportion of the world?s population with access to improved drinking water sources increased from 77 per cent to 87 per cent.

?The good news is that almost 1.8 billion more people now have access to drinking water compared to the start of the 1990s,? said Sanjay Wijesekera, UNICEF?s associate director and water and sanitation chief. ?The bad news is that the poorest and most marginalized are being left behind.?

However, the report stresses, even though significant progress has been made, at the current rate, 672 million people will still not be using improved drinking water sources in 2015. There are still many countries in sub-Saharan Africa, Southern Asia, Eastern Asia and South-East Asia that are not on track to meet the target, according to the report.

In sub-Saharan Africa, for example, total access has significantly increased since 1990, jumping from 49 per cent to 60 per cent, and reaching an additional 126 million people in urban and 111 million in rural areas. However, population growth has outstripped the progress to the extent that the actual number of people without access was greater in 2008 than it was in 1990, according to the report.

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