East Asia Ministerial Conference on Sanitation and Hygiene 2007
The East Asia Ministerial Conference on Sanitation and Hygiene (EASAN) 2007 was held in Beppu City, Japan from 30 November to 1 December 2007. The conference focused on nine countries: Cambodia, China, Indonesia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Mongolia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Timor-Leste and Viet Nam. Official delegations also came from countries that have already achieved high rates of access to improved sanitation, namely Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. Officials of the Government of Japan also participated.Despite East Asia’s buoyant economic growth, almost half of the region’s population lacks access to adequate sanitation. Insufficient sanitation leads to disease and deprivation, reinforces a vicious cycle of poverty among the marginalized, and widens disparities between urban and rural, rich and poor households. Meeting the Millennium Development Goal on sanitation would still leave nearly one third of the region’s population without access to improved sanitation, highlighting the need for countries to go beyond the target. The primary focus of EASAN, therefore, was to discuss options for accelerated national action to achieve and exceed the sanitation targets of the Millennium Development Goals.