Our staff reporter ISLAMABAD Forty-eight million Pakistani citizens defecate in the open and basic toilet is a distant dream for them. Pakistans under Millennium Development Goal committed to supply 93% of the population with safe water and 64% of the population with adequate sanitation by year 2015. Yet only 45% people use improved sanitation facilities in Pakistan. At current rates of progress the water target will be missed by 7 years (2022) and the sanitation target by 13 years (2028). The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimate that 97,900 people die every year due to poor water and sanitation in Pakistan. WHO and UNICEF estimate that in Pakistan 54,000 children under the age of five die from diarrhoea caused by poor water and sanitation every year. A new report Off-track, off-target: Why investment in water, sanitation and hygiene is not reaching those who need it most, released today by the international charity WaterAid, shows that unless urgent action is taken, the Pakistan Government will fail to meet the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) pledge they made to halve the proportion of people without sanitation by 2015. This has massive consequences for child mortality in the country. Released at the National Press Club Islamabad on the occasion of World Toilet Day being celebrated on November 19 globally, the report calls on off track countries in South Asia to spend at least 1% of gross domestic product (GDP) on providing sanitation services. The report also calls on donor countries to double global aid flows to water, sanitation and hygiene by prioritising an additional US$10 billion per year. The report also identifies that it is South Asias poorest people who are being left behind; poor people in South Asia are 13 times less likely to have access to sanitation than the rich. According to WaterAid, governments should tackle this inequity through better targeting of water and sanitation resources and services to the poor. Siddiq Khan, WaterAids Country Representative in Pakistan said: Every year thousands of children die in Pakistan due to a lack of adequate sanitation and clean water. This is the true cost we bear from the failure to ensure basic water and sanitation services. The Govt must demonstrate political and institutional leadership especially after the passage of 18th Amendment more clear roles and responsibilities are required at the federal and provincial level. Government also must increase the level of spending on water and sanitation, and donor governments increase the share of aid they spend on water and sanitation, so that we can work together to turn this situation around.