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China contributes hugely to MDG in access to safe drinking water: UN officials

STOCKHOLM, March 22 (Xinhua) -- China has made huge contributions in realizing the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDG) in access to safe drinking water, said Joakim Harlin, Senior Water Resources Advisor at the United Nations Development Program based in Stockholm on Monday.

"According to a joint monitoring report issued by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children's Fund last week, 89 percent of the population of 1.3 billion has access to drinking-water from improved sources, up from 67 percent in 1990, This is a huge contribution to MDG," Harlin said in an interview with Xinhua after a seminar on MDG to mark the World Water Day.

Johan Kuylenstierna, Chief Technical Advisor for UN-Water, also commented on China's efforts in addressing the mounting water problems from access to safe drinking water to prevention of water pollution.

"China is an interesting country because you are facing so many problems, but you are also seriously addressing many of them," Kuylenstierna told Xinhua, adding that when a problem is clearly identified, you take action on trying to mitigate it and address it.

"China can learn a lot from other countries, but I think we can learn a lot from China too in dealing with various environmental problems," Kuylenstierna said.

He also said statistics from 2009 showed that China is the biggest country in investing in renewable energy just in one year, and it has passed the United States.

"Water quality problem is a major global issue, access to clean water for achieving the MDG. If the water is not clean, it is not useful. This is a global problem. We release about two million tons of waste everyday into our waters," said he.

2.2 million children die every year from drinking bad water. Five or six million people in total die because of the poor quality of water. People die every year from diseases that could actually be prevented, according to the UN's statistics.

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