Clean water, basic toilets and good hygiene practices are essential for the survival and development of children. Today, there are around 2.4 billion people who do not use improved sanitation, and 663 million who do not have access to improved water sources.
Without these basic needs, the lives of millions of children are at risk. For children under five, water- and sanitation-related diseases are one of the leading causes of death. Every day, over 800 children die from preventable diseases caused by poor water, and a lack of sanitation and hygiene.
UNICEF’s water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) team works in over 100 countries worldwide to improve water and sanitation services, as well as basic hygiene practices. Last year, UNICEF’s efforts provided nearly 14 million people with clean water and over 11 million with basic toilets.
In times of crisis children are particularly vulnerable; UNICEF responds and provides emergency relief to those in need.