Eric Pfeiffer, Yahoo! News
A new United Nations study has found that more people around the world have access to a cellphone than to a working toilet.
The study’s numbers claim that of the world’s estimated 7 billion people, 6 billion have access to mobile phones. However, only 4.5 billion have access to a toilet.
At a press conference announcing the report, U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson announced the organization is launching an effort to halve the number of those without access by the end of 2015.
“Let’s face it—this is a problem that people do not like to talk about. But it goes to the heart of ensuring good health, a clean environment and fundamental human dignity for billions of people,” Eliasson said at the press conference.
In August 2012, the Bill Gates Foundation began its own effort to “reinvent the toilet” as a way to help curb the number of people around the world without access to sanitary waste disposal.