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SDG 6 – Clean Water and Sanitation

There are clear signs of progress: UN figures show that between 2000 and 2017 the percentage of the world's population with access to a safe water supply increased from 61% to 71%. Another 20% of people do have straightforward access to drinking water, but the supply is not deemed safe. This leaves around 2.1 billion people worldwide without access to a safe supply of clean water which does not pose any risk to their health.

The UN has therefore undertaken in SDG 6 "to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all". Despite progress, there is still a lack of adequate sanitation: access to safe sanitation grew from 28% to 45% in the aforementioned time period, and a further 30% of the world's population has access to basic sanitation. However, nearly 700 million people are still forced to defecate outdoors.

For many years, KfW has been helping to ensure that people around the globe have a safe supply of drinking water and access to good, safe sanitation. In 2019 commitments of around EUR 1.09 billion were made for projects and programmes which help to achieve SDG 6. This includes funding potabilization and drinking water distribution, programmes to reduce water loss, guarantee safe sanitation provision and treat the significant amounts of sewage which, for instance, may arise in extended urban areas, or funding sector reform programmes.

SDG6 on the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) website (German only)

Water in the Middle East

Interview with Stefan Zeeb and Dr Stefan Gramel on SDG 6

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Hydropower plant in Afghanistan

Copyright: KfW Group/Breuer

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KfW projects for clean water


The commitment of KfW to clean water supply

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Awareness-raising about clean water

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