Clear Waters - FCDO Must Prioritise Hygiene

I have been contacted about water, sanitation and hygiene in developing countries.  

Safe water and sanitation are basic human needs. In a world where over two billion people do not have access to safely managed drinking water and over four billion do not have safely managed sanitation, I welcome the Government’s commitment to deliver on Global Goal Six, which aims to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.  

In 2018, the last year for which spend data is published, £204 million was spent on water and sanitation bilaterally, with the UK spending approximately £275 million through multilateral organisations. I am proud of what the UK has achieved, with funding leading to over 51 million people gaining access to improved drinking water or a toilet since 2015, building on the UK’s success in helping over 64 million gain access to water and sanitation services between 2011 and 2015.  

Of course, the global spread of Covid-19 has highlighted the critical importance of good hygiene to improving public health and protecting lives. I welcome the Government’s partnership with Unilever, which aims to reach one billion people worldwide, raising awareness to ensure people are washing their hands with soap. The programme will also provide over 20 million hygiene products in the developing world.

I will work with the Government to learn more about how the UK can encourage others to follow our lead on water, sanitation and hygiene.