Chair, honourable delegates, despite progress, 844 million people still don’t have clean water close to home, and 2.3 billion don’t have a decent toilet. It’s costing lives (an estimated 1,800 child deaths per day) hindering the impact of health investments and preventing families, communities and countries from reaching their full potential.

You don’t need WaterAid to highlight that progress on water, sanitation and hygiene underpins the achievement of SDG 3 and others. While sanitation continues to lag significantly behind other SDGs, this urgency is not reflected in global investment and action. 

Ask yourself – are discussions and commitments made this week recognising the essential contribution that water, sanitation and hygiene make to health? 

We call on member states to: 

•    Coordinate and align efforts across water, sanitation and health sectors, ministries and organisations for maximum impact for health.

•    Prioritise water, sanitation and hygiene within health system strengthening and resilience. 

•    Finance water, sanitation and hygiene services and systems with sustainable long-term domestic and international financing. 

WaterAid will continue to work with member states, WHO and partners on integration of WASH and health through multi-sectoral action to deliver the SDGs. 

Thank you.

This statement was given by Danielle Zielinski, our Health and WASH Officer at WaterAid America, on 21 May 2019.