June 14, 2012
WaterAid pledges support for the Child Survival Call to Action
International NGO WaterAid welcomes this week’s Child Survival Call to Action in Washington, DC, and its explicit focus on the role of safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in ending preventable childhood deaths.
Every year 700,000 children die from unsafe water and poor sanitation.
WaterAid / Anna Kari
Convened by the Governments of United States, Ethiopia and India, and organized in close collaboration with UNICEF, the Child Survival Call to Action will be held on June 14-15 in Washington, DC. Focused on ending preventable child deaths through the survival of newborns, children and mothers, the Call to Action will convene 700 prominent leaders from government, the private sector, faith-based organizations and civil society to kick off a long-term, focused effort to save children's lives. Known as A Promise Renewed, the events will include over 55 ministers from 80 countries and a range of civil society organizations from around the world.
This week’s events in Washington, DC, aim to achieve coordinated global commitment to reducing mortality amongst the under-fives. Over the course of the last 50 years child mortality has been reduced by 70 percent, but much remains to be done. Every year, more than seven million children die before they reach their 5th birthday.
Water, sanitation and hygiene programs must be a part of an integrated and comprehensive package of services aimed at helping all children survive and thrive.
David Winder, CEO, WaterAid, America
Improving access to safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene is a key step in preventing many of these needless deaths. Known collectively as WASH, these three basic services are important factors in preventing pneumonia and, diarrhea, the leading causes of under-five mortality in the world.
Every year, around 700,000 children die every year from diarrhea caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation - that's almost 2,000 children a day. In addition, 50% of undernutrition is attributed to unsafe water and poor sanitation, making WASH even more critical to the objectives of A Promise Renewed.
“Water, sanitation and hygiene programs must be a part of an integrated and comprehensive package of services aimed at helping all children survive and thrive,” said Dr, David Winder, CEO of WaterAid in America
“WaterAid is proud to be a partner in the Child Survival Call to Action. This inspired initiative will bring further attention to two groups that are at the core of our mission: children and mothers. The world’s poorest communities deserve a concerted effort on all of our parts and WaterAid stands ready as a core partner in advancing this initiative,” he continued.
In addition to preventing childhood deaths, WASH services are a fundamental factor in enabling healthier behaviors, educational access, and income generation for families and communities.
Earlier this year,
the achievement of the water target of the Millennium Development Goals
(of halving the proportion of people without safe water by 2015) was a cause for celebration. Though we have met the water target, 783 million people still live without access to safe drinking water.
This week’s Call to Action will highlight the need to focus on the poorest and most marginalized people, and to ensure that all countries are working toward the same objectives. This approach will not only close the gap in lack of access to safe drinking water, but will help make critical headway on the sanitation target of the Millennium Development Goals, currently one of the furthest off track of all the goals, with 2.5 billion people still lacking access.
WaterAid calls on all governments, civil society partners, and private sector stakeholders to join together to end preventable childhood deaths. Safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene will be an essential element of these objectives.
For further information or interviews, please contact: Susannah Gold, WaterAid, on + 1 917 207 5375 or email@example.com