This video shows the International Federation Global Water and Sanitation Initiative (GWSI) in action at the Zambia Red Cross Society "Rural Water Supply Sanitation and Hygiene Promotion Project"
In our world today:
• more than one billion people do not have access to clean water;
• over two billion people do not have adequate sanitation facilities;
• some four million people die each year from diseases associated with the lack of access to safe drinking water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene
• 4,000 children under five years old die every day from those same associated diseases.
Added to this, in times of disaster and crises, the urgency to meet basic water and sanitation needs saves lives, reduces diseases and restores dignity. The overall water and sanitation challenge is best expressed in the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), in particular goals 2, 3, 4 and 7, which have water and sanitation components. Our response is therefore to set our targets as a contribution to meeting those goals.
The Global Water and Sanitation Initiative (GWSI)
Over the last ten years, the International Federation has established and consolidated a water and sanitation vision, policy and capacity to better address two principle global challenges.
1. Acute water and sanitation challenges, mostly related to crises and disasters, where there is the urgency to provide basic needs to save lives, contain or reduce health threats and restore dignity.
2. Chronic water and sanitation challenges, mostly related to the fact that still a large proportion of the world's poor do not have access to adequate safe water and sanitation, causing death, disease and loss of productivity. Around four million people die every year as a result of poor water and sanitation access; many are children under five years of age.
The GWSI outlines a common approach among National Societies to establish larger-scale, longer-term sustainable water and sanitation programs to contribute more effectively in meeting the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
The GWSI, in combination with the MDG initiative and the launch of a second UN decade for water (2005-2015), intends to generate more available resources for Red Cross and Red Crescent water and sanitation projects. During this time, the International Federation plans to target at least an additional five million vulnerable