Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)
Safe water and good hygiene practices are essential for children’s survival and well-being
Clean water, basic toilets and good hygiene practices are essential for the survival and development of children. Unfortunately, today there are around 2.4 billion people without access to adequate sanitation and 663 million with no access to safe water sources. This is one of the biggest issues facing children worldwide, as over 800 children die from preventable diseases caused by poor water, and a lack of sanitation and hygiene every single day.
Providing access to safe water and sanitation in times of crisis
UNICEF works closely with the EU’s humanitarian aid to provide emergency life-saving WASH supplies and services to children living in the midst of humanitarian crises. In 2018, we provided safe water in humanitarian settings to more than 43 million people in 64 countries with interventions like water tankering, treatment and water infrastructure building. For example in Haiti, we supported the government to increase its capacities and infrastructure to better respond to WASH emergencies caused by disasters and cholera epidemics, reducing their impact on children.
A strong partnership with the EU to improve WASH for every child
Through its partnership, UNICEF in cooperation with the EU, is supporting governments around the world and in the EU neighbourhood to strengthen the WASH infrastructure.
Over the past years, we have worked together on fourteen projects which are solely focused on WASH or have a WASH component. These programmes range widely, from supporting Papua New Guinea’s government’s WASH activities and infrastructure development to helping build a seawater desalination plant in Gaza to enhancing water supply and to provide sanitation services in small towns in Mozambique.