The global water crisis: children on the front line

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About water and sanitation

Water is a limited resource. Only 3% of the total water in the world is freshwater and less than 1% is readily usable by humans.

With water resources becoming increasingly scarce, unpredictable and unevenly distributed in many regions, it is increasingly vital for communities to take practical action to secure their water supplies, optimize their resources and educate young people in sustainable, responsible management. 

Contaminated water and poor access to safe sanitation are main causes of many diseases. Diarrheal diseases are the second most common cause of death of young children in developing countries, killing more than HIV/AIDS, malaria and measles combined. Clean water and safe sanitation are therefore fundamental for hygiene and life.

Children and education on the front line

Children are paying the highest price with serious consequences to their lives, health, education and prospects for a better future. 

Schools can provide a lifeline for children from the world’s poorest communities, but in too many cases the absence of water and sanitation facilities in schools is one of the main barriers to education, especially for girls – one in four of whom still do not complete primary school. Of the 113 million children currently not in school, 60% are girls.

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Related content:

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