WSSCC Chair Also Commits to Empowering 15 Million People to End Open Defecation by 2020
On the 24th September, WSSCC participated in the annual Global Citizen Festival, a free, action-rewarded, and advocacy driven music festival with a live audience of 60,000 people, where global citizens engaged with a range of development issues in order to win tickets. This year, WSSCC Chair Amina J. Mohammed participated on-stage alongside Minister Jeff Radebe of South Africa, and many other global leaders. Star performers included Rihanna, Metallica, and Kendrick Lamar.
On behalf of Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari, Mohammed pledged to the Global Citizen crowd Nigeria’s commitment that the practice of open defecation will be eradicated in Nigeria by 2025 or even sooner. “This will improve health, grow economies, and boost the dignity of all our citizens,” said Mohammed.
As the Chair of WSSCC, a powerful change agent at the center of the global movement to deliver on universal access to sanitation and hygiene, Mohammed also announced that WSSCC will ensure that at least 15 million people are empowered to stop the practice of open-defecation by 2020, in partnership with communities, NGOs, governments, international organizations and the private sector.
Mohammed asked the audience to “imagine a world where poverty doesn’t exist; where every child has access to the healthcare and education that they deserve; every woman can become a powerful community leader; and every person can access safe, sustainable, and hygienic sanitation.”
The World On Stage
At Global Citizen’s World on Stage event on Thursday, September 22, the Government of the Netherlands announced a renewed investment of $50 million for the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC).
“In 2015, the Netherlands pledged to achieve universal access to water for 30 million people and sanitation for 50 million people by 2030,” said Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Netherlands, in a video shown at Global Citizen’s World on Stage event held in New York City at the NYU Skirball Center. “And today I’m proud to announce that the Government of the Netherlands will be donating 50 million dollars to the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council to foster our joint efforts!”
The announcement was made during Global Citizen’s exclusive night of music, advocacy, and impact with Tom Morello, Kesha, and Paul Simon presenting the inaugural George Harrison Global Citizen Award.
Henk Ovink, the Netherlands’ special envoy for international water affairs, joined Amina J. Mohammed, the Chair of WSSCC and Minister of Environment for the Federal Republic of Nigeria, at the announcement.
“I can assure you that the commitment from the Netherlands will transform the lives of millions of women and girls, the elderly, the disabled, and the most vulnerable,” said Mohammed.
“The Netherlands stands firmly committed to a water-secure world, where every citizen of every nation can access clean drinking water, and where safe sanitation and hygiene is a reality for all,” added Ovink.
The funding will enable WSSCC, the only part of the United Nations devoted solely to the sanitation and hygiene needs of the most vulnerable people around the world, to empower 5 million additional people to access improved sanitation by 2020.
On Friday, September 23rd, WSSCC and SCA jointly launched a new report on hygiene practices worldwide in order to fill evidence gaps and provide recommendations for policymakers in both developed and developing countries to ensure hygiene is not only on the agenda, but addressed systematically. The Hygiene Matters report looks at three different themes: the value of hygiene (economic perspective), the taboos and stereotypes around hygiene globally (social perspective) and the future of hygiene in the SDG era. Key speakers at the event included WSSCC Chair Amina J. Mohammed; Guido Schmidt-Traub of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network; and Ewa Borjling of SCA.
WSSCC also worked with the Guardian and Unicef to host an annual leadership event in New York alongside the UN’s general assembly. The event looked at how successfully the global community is maintaining the momentum for change following the adoption of the sustainable development goals in 2015. Last year’s event, led by WSSCC Chair Amina Mohammed and David Miliband, marked the kick-off of these ambitious goals. This year, speakers included Irina Bokova of UNESCO and Archana Patkar of WSSCC.
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