The Sanitation and Hygiene Fund will be launched during an online event next Tuesday. It is seeking US$2 billion over the coming five years to provide a 21st-century solution to the decades-old crisis on sanitation, hygiene and menstrual health.
Currently, more than 4 billion people globally do not have access to safely managed sanitation services. 3 billion lack access to basic handwashing facilities, and nearly 10 percent of the world’s population still practice open defecation.
Many of the world’s most serious diseases and leading causes of child mortality are related directly to poor sanitation and hygiene. Yet there has been considerable under-investment in this sector for many years, and this has hampered progress on the Sustainable Development Goals.
Today, the COVID-19 pandemic has deepened existing inequalities as masks are too expensive or hard to find, and social distancing is impossible in many of the vulnerable communities. The lack of proper sanitation and hygiene adds to the risks to life and livelihood for the world’s most disadvantaged, threatening the foundations of economies and health security.
Arguing the case for global investment in sanitation and hygiene will be Ms Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations.
Other speakers include Vice President Yemi Osinbajo of Nigeria; Ms Henrietta Fore, UNICEF Executive Director; Ms Grete Faremo, Executive Director of the United Nations Office for Project Services; Mr Gilbert Houngbo, Chair of UN-Water and President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development; Dr Zsuzsanna Jakab, Deputy Director-General of the World Health Organization; and Dominic O’Neill, Executive Director of the Sanitation and Hygiene Fund.
International broadcaster, Ms Zeinab Badawi, moderates the online event, which will begin at 4 p.m. Central Europe Time or 10 a.m. Eastern Standard Time on 17 November. The show will be streamed on the SHF website and its Youtube Channel.
By raising and investing the necessary funding, the Sanitation and Hygiene Fund will bring about change and drive this transformation. It will finance programmes that produce large-scale and measurable results and deliver a fundamental social and human right to millions who have been robbed of their dignity.