NEW YORK 6 March 2012 - Lenny Kravitz – GRAMMY award-winning singer-songwriter, record producer and actor - is using his voice and talent to do more than dazzle the stage and screen. He is throwing his support behind the global push by UNICEF and its partners to help save and improve the lives of millions of children and their families around the world by providing them with access to clean water and adequate sanitation.
“I was born in New York City and have always taken access to clean water as a given,” said Kravitz. “No child should die of diarrhoea from drinking dirty water. That thousands of children under the age of five continue to die every day because they lack clean water and basic sanitation is simply unacceptable.”
UNICEF announced today that the world has met the Millennium Development Goal for drinking water, with 89 per cent of the global population now with access. However, that still leaves over 780 million people, mainly in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, without access. In addition, around 2.5 billion people - almost half the developing world’s population – lack access to improved sanitation. This all adds up to bad news for the children who are being left behind.
Kravitz will be appearing in Public Service Announcements and take to Twitter and Facebook with a message that all children can – and must – have access to clean water and adequate sanitation. Kravitz, who recently released the album ‘Black and White America’ and who will be starring in ‘The Hunger Games’ later this month, is joining forces with UNICEF to help mark World Water Day (March 22) and will send a global message of the importance of investing in children and providing them with clean water and sanitation.
Poor sanitation, water and hygiene have serious repercussions on a child’s health, often causing diarrhoea and other easily preventable diseases. Children, particularly girls, often miss school, because they are responsible for gathering water for their families, which can require many hours of their time. In addition, many schools lack private and decent sanitation facilities for girls, causing them to drop out of school. Without safe water, sanitation, and good hygiene, sustainable development is difficult to achieve.
Since 1990, UNICEF, governments and partners, have helped over 2 billion people gain access to improved water sources and 1.8 billion people gain access to improved sanitation facilities. The efforts include drilling wells and installing water pumps, helping communities build latrines and teaching lifesaving hygiene to schoolchildren and mothers, and providing safe water and sanitation to communities during emergencies.
Attention broadcasters: PSAs and B-roll will be available free of charge at: www.thenewsmarket.com/unicef
UNICEF works in 190 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org
For more information, please contact:
Marissa Buckanoff, UNICEF New York,
Tel + 1 212.326.7513,
Rita Ann Wallace, UNICEF New York,
Tel + 1 212.326.7586,