( News.com.au ) -HEALTH and sanitation experts from 40 countries will meet in New Delhi later this month for the seventh World Toilet Summit to find ways to provide toilets for everyone by 2025.
An estimated 2.6 billion people have no access to a proper toilet, according to the World Health Organisation .
More than half of them live in India or China.
Defecating in the open can contaminate water supplies and spread diseases such as diarrhoea , which kill many thousands of people every year.
The summit will "enable an exchange of ideas on how to achieve the Millennium Development Goal of providing clean sanitation to all," Bindeshwar Pathak , a leading sanitation expert, told a news conference.
Among the UN's Millennium Development Goals agreed by its member states is to halve the number of people without access to safe drinking water by 2015.
The world aims to provide these facilities to all people who do not have them by 2025, Mr Pathak said.
New and cheaper technologies which are also environmentally friendly will also be discussed at the summit.
About half-a-million people in India are engaged in manual scavenging - cleaning toilets and carting human excreta from toilets without a sewage system and dumping it in garbage yards - Mr Pathak said.
The practise is banned but prevalent because of lack of other employment opportunities and proper sewage systems.
The four-day conference begins on October 31.