Finding a phone is easier than finding a toilet: UN

UNITED NATIONS (AP) - The United Nations says six billion of the world's seven billion people have mobile phones - but only 4.5 billion have access to toilets or latrines.

So the UN is launching a global campaign to improve sanitation for the 2.5 billion people who do not have it.

UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson calls their plight "a silent disaster" that reflects the extreme poverty and huge inequalities in the world today.

He said on Thursday that toilets and open defecation, which is a fact of life for 1.1 billion people, are rarely talked about at the UN.

But he said the problem must be addressed immediately for the world to meet the UN goal of halving the proportion of people without access to sanitation by 2015.