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At a glance: United States of America

Successful US Tap Project goes nationwide for World Water Week

© UNICEF/ HQ05-0491/Vitale
A woman and a girl draw water from a pump set up at a tent camp for people displaced by the 2004 tsunami in the seaside village of Mudtukadu, India.

For World Water Day, 20 March 2008, UNICEF is focusing on efforts to improve hygiene and sanitation – but safe water is a closely related issue, addressed in the following report.

NEW YORK, USA, 18 March 2008 — Last year’s successful New York City restaurant campaign to provide safe drinking water to the world’s children has gone national.

When the Tap Project was launched in March 2007, more than 300 of New York City’s top restaurants raised money by charging customers $1 for a glass of city tap water. The funds went to UNICEF to help save lives by providing safe drinking water to children around the world.

The project has caught the imagination of restaurant owners and staff across the United States. This year, from Dallas, Texas, to Seattle, Washington, more than 2,200 restaurants are taking part in the Tap Project during World Water Week, 16-22 March. For every dollar raised, a child can have safe drinking water for 40 days, according to the campaign’s organizers.

Preventing waterborne diseases

More than 2.6 billion people worldwide – about 40 per cent of the world’s population – lack basic sanitation facilities, and over 1 billion people still use unsafe drinking water sources. Thousands of children die every day from diarrhoea and other water, sanitation and hygiene-related diseases, making the lack of safe water the second largest killer of children under the age five.

UNICEF is working to help meet the Millennium Development Goal of reducing by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe water and basic sanitation by 2015.

Coordinated by the US Fund for UNICEF, the Tap Project is part of this global effort. The project enjoys the support of several prominent partners, including American Express, Turner Broadcasting, Esquire magazine, OpenTable.com and the Water & Sanitation Rotarian Action Group.




In an interview recorded for the 2007 launch of the Tap Project, current US Fund for UNICEF President Caryl Stern discusses the project’s goals.
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