- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 7, 2015

As many as 950 million people worldwide still defecate outside, polluting water sources and spreading potentially fatal diseases as the U.N. approaches a deadline for sanitation standards set in 2000. 

Nearly 1 in 3 people lack access to clean toilets, according to data from WaterAid America, an international organization devoted to providing people around the world with access to clean, safe water. 

This year, the United Nations will reach its deadline for a set of global health and sanitation goals called Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). But many of the MDGs, which were established in 2000, will not be met before the September deadline. 

One of the goals was to cut by half the number of people still openly defecating. However, as the deadline approaches, around 1 in 10 people still lack safe water, WaterAid America said. 

The 2015 goal is running 130 years behind schedule in sub-Saharan Africa, according to WaterAid America data. 

Now, the U.N. is working with NGOs and member states, including the U.S., to negotiate a new framework of sanitation goals to succeed the MDGs called the Sustainable Development Goals, which will establish even greater standards to be met by 2030. 

Current drafts of the new framework focus heavily on improving access to clean water and sanitation with the goal of providing universal water, sanitation and hygiene by 2030.

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