The Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) today launched its first national Global Sanitation Fund programme, with Madagascar leading the way in implementing the world’s only multi-donor fund aimed at helping more poor people attain safe sanitation and practice good hygiene.
As reported last week by the World Health Organization and UNICEF, some 2.6 billion people across the planet – four in 10 human beings — do not have access to basic sanitation , with 1.5 million children under the age of five dying annually from preventable sanitation-related diseases such as diarrhea as a result.
“These people lack the privacy, dignity, safety and, most of all, improved health that come with a safe and clean toilet which serves their most basic every day human needs,” says WSSCC’s Barry Jackson, the Manager of the Global Sanitation Fund. “As a result, many get sick, can’t go to work or to school, and lose out on productive life years that could contribute to their own welfare and that of their country. The Global Sanitation Fund contributes to solving these problems, and it will start to do so in Madagascar.”
With more than 18 million of its 20.7 million inhabitants without access to basic sanitation, Madagascar has one of the world’s lowest coverage rates. It also offers one of the best environments for rapid improvements that save human lives and improve livelihoods, according to WSSCC’s newly appointed “executing agency” for the Global Sanitation Fund in Madagascar, the international non-governmental organisation Medical Care Development International (MCDI).
“MCDI is thrilled to be selected by WSSCC to implement the Global Sanitation Fund in Madagascar,” says Dr. Joséa Ratsirarson from MCDI, “because the Fund is unique in its approach and because the sanitation situation can improve quickly with the right kind of efforts.” As executing agency, MCDI will disburse approximately US$ 5 million over the next five years to sub-grantees – community groups, non-governmental organisations, etc. – to implement projects and programmes that raise awareness and create demand locally for sanitation, thus spurring sanitation- and hygiene market development. Global Sanitation Funds will not be used directly or indirectly to fund or subsidise toilet construction schemes.
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