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Joint statement calls for global commitment and accelerated progress to address water and sanitation crisis - From the Governments of Germany, Japan, the Netherlands and Tajikistan

Side-event on Water and Sanitation: High Level Event on Millennium Development Goals

NEW YORK, 24 September 2008 – A joint statement issued today, at the special event for water and sanitation, by the Governments of Germany, Japan, the Netherlands and Tajikistan calls for strengthen political prioritization, mobilization of resources, streamlining of existing monitoring and evaluation systems along with fruitful partnerships with civil society, and the private sector.

This event aims to re-energize progress towards achieving the MDG target 7 C of halving the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation by 2015. It also intends to provide insight and content to the UN High Level Event on Millennium Development Goals (MDG) to be held on 25 September.
Access to clean water and adequate sanitation is an important catalyst for achieving the MDG’s as a whole. Investing in safe water, adequate sanitation and hygiene education is crucial for ending the cycle of poverty, and enabling all to enjoy life of health and dignity.

Young children are often most vulnerable to the ill effects of unsafe water and the lack of sanitation and hygiene. More than 5,000 children under five die every day as a result of diarrhoeal diseases, primarily as a result of unsafe drinking water, and the lack of access to basic sanitation facilities and improved hygiene.

Reports presented at the event by UNICEF and WHO will highlight key developments, provide information about global access to drinking water and sanitation, and provide insights in the effectiveness of aid in the water supply and sanitation sector.

In order to maintain momentum resulting from this event, the first High Level Annual Review Meeting on Progress in the Water and Sanitation sector will be convened in 2009. UNICEF has agreed to host this meeting.

The water and sanitation targets are achievable. 2008 has been declared the International Year of Sanitation by the UN General Assembly to further galvanize the world community as a key player for ensuring success.

Attention broadcasters: Video footage for water and sanitation is available free of charge at

UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence.  The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS.  UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.

For further information please contact: 

Saira Saeed Khan, UNICEF Media, Tel + 212-326-7224, Email sskhan@uicef.org




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