United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund issued the following news release:
WASHINGTON, DC, 11 April 2014 UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, UNICEF ExecutiveDirector Anthony Lake, and World Bank President Jim Yong Kim today joined over 50 countries in setting concrete targets to reach the 2.5 billion people across the globe still without adequate sanitation, and the almost 750 million without safe drinking water.Children in particular will benefit from the new commitments, according to UNICEF. The organization says diarrhoeal diseases linked to water and sanitation kill 1,400 children every day, and contribute to stunting in over 160 million children globally.
“The poorest children have the least access to safe water and adequate sanitation and they pay the highest price – so they have the most to gain from these new commitments, as do their communities,” Lake said. “The commitments made here today will help meet the right of millions of children to safe water and sanitation. This can literally transform their lives and their communities.”
Major commitments at the High Level Meeting include over 260 concrete actions by over 50 countries to strengthen institutions, improve planning, and increase domestic spending and donor investment in water and sanitation. Seventeen countries committed to end open defecation by 2030 or earlier, while over 20 countries went even farther and pledged to achieve universal access to water and sanitation within the same period.
In general, however, global progress has been uneven, and those already at the bottom are falling even farther behind.
“We cannot address water and sanitation without addressing inequities, such as disadvantaged girls who can’t go to school because the bathrooms aren’t safe or because they must collect water for their families during school hours when they should be building their futures,” Lake said. “When the global community set the goal of providing water and sanitation for all, that included these girls and every child, everywhere.”
For more information on this issues, visit http://sanitationandwaterforall.org
And for more information on the role of civil societies, visist http://sanitationandwaterforall.org/partners/civil-society-list