Hand hygiene for all

A call to action for all of society to achieve universal access to hand hygiene

In Nairobi, Kenya, a young boy follows instructions on how to wash hands properly, at a water station in Kibera, to prevent the spread of COVID-19.


Three billion people – 40 per cent of the world’s population – do not have a place in their homes to wash their hands with water and soap. Three quarters of those who lack access to water and soap live in the world’s poorest countries and are amongst the most vulnerable: children and families living in informal settlements, migrant and refugee camps, or in areas of active conflict. This puts an estimated 1 billion people at immediate risk of COVID-19 simply because they lack basic handwashing facilities.

The Hand Hygiene for All initiative aims to move the world towards this goal: supporting the most vulnerable communities with the means to protect their health and environment. It brings together international partners, national governments, public and private sectors, and civil society to ensure affordable products and services are available, especially in disadvantaged areas, and to enable a culture of hygiene.

This document outlines why universal hand hygiene is important, what our vision for the future looks like, and a loose framework for how all of us can work together to achieve it.

Please contact: pubdoc@unicef.org


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