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Press centre

Media advisory

Landmark children's meeting launches at 4th World Water Forum

Who: Ms. Vanessa Tobin, UNICEF Chief of Water,
         Environment & Sanitation;
Dr. Alvara Aldama, Mexican Institute of Technology;
Ms. Taeko Yokota, Japan World Water Forum;
Mr. Dennis Nelson, Project WET;
Child water activists from developing and industrialzed nations

What: Launch of The Children’s World Water Forum - Press conference

When: Thursday, 16 March 2006, 5:00-7:00pm Mexico City time.

Where:  Olympic Centre Auditorium, Mexico Olympic Center, Mexico City

The Children’s World Water Forum (CWWF) is a landmark children’s meeting on water, survival and education, taking place at the 4th World Water Forum in Mexico City from 16-22 March. Over 100 young water activists from over 30 countries across the world will meet government ministers to discuss how children can help solve the world’s growing water crisis. Many of these children have amazing stories to tell leading water and hygiene projects in some of the word’s poorest communties.

Lack of safe water and basic sanitation is a crisis for over 400 million children. Ordinary diarrhoea sickens more children than any other disease, and kills more than 4,500 every day.

This deprivation also costs many children their education, particularly girls.  Millions of children will miss schooldays because of waterborne illnesses or inadequate school facilities.

As children suffer, so do nations.  Illness and low education rates cost developing countries billions in lost productivity every year.
Finding solutions means starting with children.  Meeting children needs is the most certain way to reduce the high cost of water deprivation worldwide – and children themselves are already leading the way.

Key dates for media:

Friday, 17 March, 12:00-1:00 pm:   Roundtable media briefing with young people; Taekwondo Room, Olympic Centre

Sunday, 19 March, 9:00-10:00 am:  African children present to world leaders at the launch of the Africa Regional Report; Banamex Center

Tuesday, 21 March, 12:30-1:00pm: Children deliver call to action to Ministers Photocall at 1pm; Banamex Centre (room tbc)      
Note to broadcasters:  B-roll of water and sanitation projects is available.

For further information and interview with children/ key spokespeople, please contact:

Claire Hajaj, UNICEF Media: (+1) 646 331 4547,
or 0052 55 9189 79 12, chajaj@unicef.org

Michael Klaus, UNICEF Mexico, (+52) 55 5284 9555,





15 March 2006:
UNICEF correspondent Rachel Bonham Carter reports on the world water crisis with children at its heart.

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