WSSCC Launches Global Sanitation Fund


Some 2.6 billion people worldwide are to benefit from a Global Sanitation Fund established by the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC), based in Geneva, Switzerland.
The beneficiaries represent 40 per cent of the world’s population who do not have access to basic sanitation.
The aim of the fund is to support national efforts to help large numbers of poor people attain sustainable access to basic sanitation and good hygiene practices.
“Jamaica enjoys participation in the WSSCC through the Rural Water Programme of the Ministry of Water and Housing and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) such as the Benevolent Societies and the Coalition for Community Participation in Governance,” Linnette Vassell, Gender Specialist for the Rural Water Programme told JIS News.
She added that the Jamaican organizations will participate in the Sanitation Workshop, to be held in the island on April 28 and 29 to look at ways to tap into the resources made available by the WSSCC Fund. A meeting of the Jamaican contingent is scheduled for April 15 and 16.
Launched on March 14, this year the WSSCC Fund is one of the initiatives of the International Year of Sanitation 2008, and according to that body, it is the first global fund geared at increasing the expenditure on sanitation and hygiene. The WSSCC is administered by the World Health Organization (WHO).
According to news from the WSSCC, the estimated annual cost for attaining the basic sanitation goal for all in ten or 20 year is US$9.5 billion.
Statistics reveal that of the 10 million children who die annually, more than half die as a result of poor sanitation or poor hygiene. Diarrhoeal diseases are the second highest killers of children, and are responsible for 17 per cent of deaths under the age of five. Figures also show that diarrhoea – which is a disease caused by the lack of proper sanitation and hygiene – has killed more children in the last ten years than all those killed in armed conflict since the end of World War II. And while the cost of helping the less fortunate achieve basic sanitation is US$9.5 billion, other research suggests that the benefits to those countries most affected by this malady, would amount to $63 billion annually, since clean toilets have been shown to contribute to economic development.
Universal access to good sanitation and hygiene would yield economic benefits of US$225 billion, according to the WHO.

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