Ms. Hind Khatib-Othman, Managing Director at the GAVI Alliance, is the new Chair of the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC). She assumes the role in November during the next meeting of the Steering Committee, WSSCC’s governing body.
Ms. Khatib-Othman succeeds Mrs. Ebele Okeke and Mr. William Herbert, who served as interim Co-Chairs since November 2016. Ms. Khatib-Othman brings extensive leadership capabilities and a deep knowledge of international development work, including grant making and programme finance operations, as the new Chair.
At the GAVI Alliance, she leads diverse multi-cultural and multi-disciplinary teams which have helped the organization deliver vaccinations for 65 million children in 2017 – 3 million more than in 2016. Prior to joining the GAVI Alliance in 2012, she served as Regional Director for UNAIDS in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. She has also directed country programmes at The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. There, she managed some 80 national Global Fund grants, a portfolio of more than USD 3 billion.
“It is an honour to serve as WSSCC’s new Chair,” said Ms. Khatib-Othman. “In many ways, there are similarities between WSSCC and the GAVI Alliance, Global Fund and UNAIDS. They all aim for impact at scale, support nationally-led health and development programming, and advocate for life-saving issues. My experiences from these organisations will benefit WSSCC, and I look forward to working with the Steering Committee, the management and the staff to deliver results that matter for peoples’ health and well-being.”
The Steering Committee which Ms. Khatib-Othman will lead includes high-level international experts elected from WSSCC’s membership, representatives of UN agencies and partners from civil society.
Mr. Rolf Luyendijk, the WSSCC Executive Director, added, “We are in service to the water, sanitation and hygiene sector, and to WSSCC’s many partners and individual members in 150 countries. Under Ms. Khatib-Othman’s leadership, we are well placed to support global achievement of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 6.2 on sanitation and hygiene. We also extend our deepest appreciation for Mrs. Okeke and Mr. Herbert. Under their leadership, we have successfully aligned our work to be fit-for-purpose for the SDG era.”
According to the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme on Drinking Water and Sanitation, 2.3 billion people lack improved sanitation and 892 million defecate in the open. This impacts their health, social and educational development, environment and economic growth; 290,000 children still die annually of preventable diahorrhea.
Founded in 1990, WSSCC’s mission is to ensure sustainable sanitation, better hygiene and safe drinking water for all, with focus on the poorest and most marginalized members of society in Africa and Asia. Last year, among other results, WSSCC’s grants-financing work enabled 14,600 new communities in 12 countries to become nationally certified as Open Defecation Free (ODF). This represents 5 million people living in newly certified ODF environments – 20 million since 2011.
Ms. Khatib-Othman is Jordanian-Swiss, married and has two children.
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