26 % of world’s population does not have safe drinking water

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in their report at the UN 2023 Water Conference has revealed that 26% of the world's population lacks access to safe drinking water and almost 46% do not have adequate sanitation facilities. This report was published on behalf of UN-Water in coordination with the UNESCO World Water Assessment Programme. The report alarming estimates that by 2050, almost half of the world’s urban population will face water scarcity while indicating that India would be severely affected. The inequality is further reflected in Asia with 80% of people living under water stress, particularly in northeast China, India, and Pakistan.


  1. Learn about the UN Water Conference held in 2023 and the key highlights of the UNESCO report presented at the conference.
  2. Understand the role of UNESCO and UN-Water in conducting the research and presenting the report.
  3. Note the worrying statistics - 26% lacking safe drinking water and 46% lacking adequate sanitation facilities globally.
  4. Understand the projected increase in water scarcity especially in urban areas by 2050.
  5. Be aware of the countries/regions most affected by water stress - Asia, particularly northeast China, India, and Pakistan.