UNICEF Remains Committed To Providing WASH To Children, Others Affected By Conflict, Disaster
Inter Press Service: Water, Sanitation & Hygiene: First Response in Conflicts & Natural Disasters
Sanjay Wijesekera, global chief of water, sanitation & hygiene at UNICEF
“…For those of us lucky enough to have easy access to drinking water and a functioning toilet — the lack of water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) is not a major concern. But for the one in four children around the world who live in countries affected by conflict or disaster, it is an overwhelming preoccupation and a matter of survival. In times of conflict, more children tend to die from diseases caused by unclean water and poor sanitation than from direct violence. … Over the past six years, I have witnessed the humanitarian response of delivering water, sanitation, and hygiene in times of conflict and disaster. I’ve seen the profound impact it has for children who have lost so much and yet remain incredibly resilient. We share the strength and determination of children … and the women and girls in [refugee situations], and we remain committed to preserving the rights of every child to water, sanitation, and hygiene” (3/19).