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UNICEF and Procter & Gamble join forces on safe drinking water for children

NEW YORK/CINCINNATI, 24 May 2005 - UNICEF today welcomed an alliance with Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG) which could provide safe drinking water for millions of families and schoolchildren.

The focus of the alliance will be providing home-based water purification, to ease the burden on millions of families who currently struggle to access safe water.

UNICEF and P&G will initially be working together in eight countries - Haiti, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Bangladesh and Vietnam, Uganda, Kenya and Pakistan.  Joint projects will focus on three main areas: supporting UNICEF’s drive to bring safe water to schools, helping families in emergency situations and reducing household exposure to arsenic-contaminated water.

One of the innovative tools the partnership will provide is PUR Purifier of Water - a simple, cost-effective home-based water purification system. PUR removes dirt and disease-causing pathogens from drinking water within minutes, making it ideal for use by families in developing countries.  P&G provide PUR at cost for humanitarian uses through the organization’s philanthropy program: Children’s Safe Drinking Water.

Unsafe drinking water exacts a heavy toll on children worldwide. 1.6 million children under five die every year from simple diarrhea, a water-borne affliction. Home-based water purification systems have been shown to drastically cut diarrhea deaths.

“Millions of lives can be saved or transformed with simple, inexpensive and proven tools like household water purification,” says UNICEF’s Chief of Water, Environment and Sanitation, Vanessa Tobin.  “And our experience using PUR sachets in the wake of the tsunami suggests it could be a particularly valuable relief tool during emergencies.”

UNICEF will work together with P&G and other local partners to bring safe drinking water within easy reach of the families that need it.  The partnership will also help families learn the simple steps to use water purification systems at home. 

“This is a great example of how combining resources of the public and private sectors can bring innovative new technologies to more children than ever,” said Greg Allgood, Director of P&G’s Children’s Safe Drinking Water program.

Since 1946 UNICEF has been the world’s leader for children, working in 158 countries to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence.  The world’s largest provider of vaccines for poor countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. 
UNICEF is funded entirely by voluntary contributions from governments, businesses, foundations and individuals.

About P&G (NYSE:PG)
Two billion times a day, P&G brands touch the lives of people around the world. The company has one of the strongest portfolios of trusted, quality, leadership brands, including Pampers®, Tide®, Ariel®, Always®, Whisper®, Pantene®, Bounty®, Pringles®, Folgers®, Charmin®, Downy®, Lenor®, Iams®, Crest®, Actonel®, Olay®, Clairol Nice ‘n Easy®, Head & Shoulders®, and Wella.  The P&G community consists of almost 110,000 employees working in over 80 countries worldwide.  Please visit http://www.pg.com for the latest news and in-depth information about P&G and its brands.

The PUR Purifier of Water technology was developed in cooperation with the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and has been shown to reduce significantly diarrhoeal illness in the developing world. For more information about PUR Purifier of Water, please visit our website www.pghsi.com.

For further information, please contact:

Claire Hajaj, UNICEF New York, +1 212 326 7566, chajaj@unicef.org

Greg Allgood, PhD, Procter & Gamble, Cincinnati, +1 513 983 1223, allgood.gs@pg.com




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