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Water, Environment And Sanitation

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Water, environment and sanitation


The combination of safe drinking water and hygienic sanitation facilities is a precondition for health and for success in the fight against poverty, hunger, child deaths and gender inequality. UNICEF works in more than 90 countries around the world to improve water supplies and sanitation facilities in schools and communities, and to promote safe hygiene practices. All UNICEF water and sanitation programmes are designed to contribute to the Millennium Development Goal for water and sanitation: to halve, by 2015, the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe water and basic sanitation. Key strategies for meeting the water, sanitation and hygiene challenges are to:

„X Accelerate access to water and sanitation with particular attention to those currently not reached in both urban and rural areas. Efforts will be concentrated on improving the management and allocation of resources and ensuring that access to water and sanitation services enhances health and sustainable livelihoods for the poor.

„X Focus on essential, low-cost services, ranging from householdÐŽVlevel services to community-based maintenance and operation systems.

„X Encourage household water security by making enough water of adequate quality available year-round to ensure family survival, health and productivity, without compromising the integrity of the environment.

„X Strengthen policies and institutional frameworks needed to improve sanitation, safe water supply and hygiene, and build government capacities for leadership and responsibility.

„X Raise the profile of sanitation, water and improved environmental health in all political and developmental venues.

„X Strengthen partnerships involving United Nations agencies (in particular with the World Health Organization and United Nations Environment Programme), development banks, government development assistance agencies and sectoral institutions such as the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC), the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and private funding foundations such as the Conrad Hilton Foundation.

„X Develop clear and measurable indicators for monitoring progress that builds on the strengths of the established WHO/UNICEF joint monitoring programme.


Promoting enabling environments

Community and household water security

Water, sanitation and education

Water and sanitation in schools

Putting girls first

Water and sanitation in emergencies

A balanced package of support

Coordinating with partners

Building on successes in emergencies

Emergency preparedness


UNICEF publications on water, sanitation and hygiene

A selection of technical, policy and advocacy documents produced by UNICEF on water, sanitation, hygiene and the environment.

Includes WaterfrontÐŽXUNICEF's newsletter on sectoral issuesÐŽXand the Technical Guideline Series. See also the UNICEF Publications page for additional water and sanitation-related titles.

(Note that links to partner organizations on this page will open in a new window and will take you to a non-UNICEF web site.)

Latest: Meeting the MDG Drinking Water and Sanitation Target: a Mid-Term Assessment of Progress

The latest publication from the UNICEF/WHO Joint Monitoring Programme on global statistics for water and sanitation. The coverage figures - from 1990 and 2002 - show that the sanitation target of halving the number of unserved people worldwide by 2015 will not be met without a dramatic acceleration in the provision of services.

[PDF or print version] [Web version]

Childhood Lead Poisoning: Information for Advocacy and Action

This booklet is part of UNICEF's ongoing efforts to raise awareness of the linkages between environmental factors and the well-being of children. Childhood Lead Poisoning is published in partnership with UNEP, the United Nations Environment Programme.


Facts for Life

Lifesaving knowledge about childrenЎҐs health for parents, caregivers, health workers, government officials, journalists and teachers. Facts for Life represents the best current understanding of science, policy and practice. Including chapters on hygiene and diarrhoea.

[PDF or print version]

Global Water Supply and Sanitation Assessment 2000

The year 2000 report from the Joint Monitoring Programme.


Motivating Better Hygiene Behaviour: Importance for Public Health, Mechanisms for Change

An examination of why conventional hygiene educational programmes fail, and a presentation of alternative approaches (an older document reissued due to popular demand). Motivating Better Hygiene Behaviour is produced in partnership with IRC, International Water and Sanitation Centre.


Learning from Experience: Water and Environmental Sanitation in India

Lessons learned from India - UNICEF's longest running programme of support for water, sanitation and hygiene. Report from an evaluation covering 30 years of programming experience.

[PDF or print version]

Sanitation for All: Promoting dignity and human rights

The UNICEF sanitation brochure is a tool for generating new sanitation and hygiene policy and programme actions at country, regional and



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