THE BAXTER INTERNATIONAL FOUNDATION AND UNICEF PARTNER TO EXPAND ACCESS TO SAFE WATER AND SANITATION IN EGYPT
- Program is designed to deliver prevention-focused, climate-resilient water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services for families and children in Egypt
- Builds upon existing partnership that is improving water security in Colombia
DEERFIELD, Ill. and NEW YORK, November 28, 2023 - The Baxter International Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Baxter International Inc. (NYSE:BAX), and UNICEF, today announced a partnership to improve access to safe drinking water and sanitation in five water-challenged regions in Egypt. Supported by a $2.5 million grant from the Foundation, this three-year initiative aims to implement climate-smart water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programming for thousands of people in Upper Egypt’s governorates of Aswan, Assiut, Quena, Minya and Luxor through community engagement, education and rehabilitation of primary health units.
“Clean, safe water is fundamental to life, yet water scarcity remains a critical issue in certain parts of the world,” said José (Joe) E. Almeida, chairman, president and chief executive officer at Baxter. “We are honored to continue partnering with UNICEF to support regional water initiatives that make a meaningful difference for underserved communities, in line with Baxter’s 2030 Corporate Responsibility Commitment and Goals.”
Having access to an environment with safe water, basic toilets and good hygiene practices is crucial in giving children a healthy start to life. In fact, diseases caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation are among the world’s leading causes of death in children under five years old. Climate change is a key factor that contributes to inequitable water access in many areas worldwide. Changes in water cycle patterns caused by extreme weather make it more difficult to access safe drinking water, especially for the most vulnerable children. According to United Nations official data, Egypt has an annual water deficit of around seven billion cubic meters and 7.3 million people in Egypt are deprived of access to safe water.
“Every child has a right to a clean and safe environment,” said Michael J. Nyenhuis, president and CEO, UNICEF USA. “With the support of the Baxter International Foundation, UNICEF can help reach children and families in Egypt with access to safe water and provide the resources and education needed to face the impacts of climate change.”
Through the partnership with the Baxter International Foundation in Egypt, UNICEF aims to:
- Provide technical support to national and local governments to increase access to WASH services, equipping more than 4,000 households with safe drinking water and sewage connections.
- Improve access to quality WASH services in more than 100 primary care units, including gender-separated and disability-friendly sanitation services.
- Help 150 schools and 40 nurseries develop and implement action plans and mitigation strategies focused on climate change and WASH.
- Support medical teams at health facilities in delivering climate-adaptive health and nutrition services and education for mothers and children, as well as educating young children and high-risk pregnant and lactating women to equip them with skills to help protect against the impact of climate change on WASH.
- Equip 50 health facilities with green sources of power and energy, such as solar panels.
UNICEF and the Baxter International Foundation each bring unique and relevant experience to the partnership. Every year, UNICEF helps millions of families gain improved access to safe water and sanitation. Baxter and the Baxter International Foundation actively invest in community-focused water projects to improve access to equitable and safe water and sanitation in water-stressed areas. UNICEF and the Baxter International Foundation previously launched a program to improve water security in La Guajira, Colombia in 2021. Through the programs in Egypt and Colombia, UNICEF and the Baxter International Foundation aim to support United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (UN SDG) 6, focusing on Clean Water and Sanitation.
About the Baxter International Foundation
Every day, Baxter and the Baxter International Foundation strive to make a meaningful difference in the lives of people who depend on our products, and in the communities where our employees live and work. The Foundation helps advance Baxter’s mission to save and sustain lives by partnering with organizations around the world to increase access to healthcare for the underserved, develop the next generation of innovators who will lead the way in advancing healthcare and to create a positive, long-lasting impact in communities globally. For more information, please visit our Corporate Responsibility page.
Baxter is a registered trademark of Baxter International Inc.
Emma Wierzbicki, (224) 948-5353
Ann Reinking Whitener, (212-922-2623)
 UNICEF USA: Clean and Safe Water Projects: UNICEF’s Mission. https://www.unicefusa.org/what-unicef-does/childrens-health/water-sanitation/safe-water-projects#:~:text=Children%20under%20age%205%20are,children%20under%205%20years%20old .
 UNICEF: Water, Sanitation and Hygiene: https://www.unicef.org/egypt/water-sanitation-and-hygiene
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org/egypt/