Qatar Fund for Development and WSSCC Join Together at High-Profile New York Meeting to Highlight Sanitation’s Importance for Global Health and Education Improvements

Date: 12th July 2018

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Mr. Ali Abdulla Al Dabbagh, Deputy Director General for Planning at the Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD), and Mr. Rolf Luyendijk, Executive Director of the UN-hosted Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC), will speak to policy- and decision-makers in New York on Thursday, 12 July 2018, about the high returns that sanitation and hygiene investments bring for peoples’ health and educational opportunities.

The event, Sanitation for Education and Health – An integrated approach to human development, is an official side event for the 2018 High Level Political Forum (HLPF) taking place in New York this week and next.  The HLPF is the United Nations central platform for follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This year, the HLPF is reviewing progress for SDG 6, among others, which is designed to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.

“With this event, we aim to foster sharing of concrete and innovative multi-sectoral approaches that link sanitation, education and health,” said Mr. Al Dabbagh, QFFD. “The State of Qatar’s own experiences and successes in development programming throughout the world will provide an opportunity to inspire other stakeholders and policy makers to implement solutions that generate real progress – for girls in schools and the health of communities, among other opportunities.”

For the event, QFFD and WSSCC are also partnering with Education Cannot Wait and Global Citizen. Together, the four organizations will highlight that while billions of people have gained access to basic drinking water and sanitation services since 2000, some 4.5 billion people still lack safely managed sanitation. Further, households, schools and healthcare facilities often lack soap and water for handwashing, putting the health of all people, but especially children, at risk for diseases. As a result, some 800 children under the age of 5 die every day due to preventable diarrhoea. Adolescent girls are disproportionally affected by poor sanitation and hygiene, with negative impacts on educational performance and attendance. Sanitation and hygiene programmes in schools are therefore important to ensure safer and more dignified learning environments for children.

Mr. Luyendijk of WSSCC said: “We know that the return on one year of secondary education for a girl correlates with as high as a 25% increase in wages later in life, among other benefits. We hope this event will serve as a call to action on water, sanitation and hygiene-related actions, funding and programming in schools which accelerate the benefits of investing in girls’ education.”

In addition to Mr. Al Dabbagh and Mr. Luyendijk, speakers include Dr. Kepha Ombacho, Director, Public Health, Ministry of Health, Kenya; Ms. Yasmine Sherif, Director, Education Cannot Wait; and Ms. Madge Thomas, Director, Global Policy & Government Affairs, Global Citizen.

The event takes place 12 July 2018, from 13.15 – 14.30 (US Eastern Standard Time), in Conference Room 9, UN Conference building, United Nations, New York, USA.

Photos, video and a report from the event will be available the same day from the International Institute for Sustainable Development website here: http://enb.iisd.org/hlpf/2018/.

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