Water and hygiene are an inseparable pair. They are the prerequisites for health and development.
663 million people have no access to clean water and 2.3 billion have no sanitation. Clean water, sanitation and improved hygiene could save 361,000 children under five each year. The Red Cross is committed to improving water and sanitation around the world. In rural areas of poor countries, people are often forced to fetch water from distant wells or springs. Or they drink it from dirty pools and rivers. Sometimes the wells are also contaminated with natural toxins, such as arsenic in Bangladesh. In addition, toilets are often lacking, which is why the water is polluted in many places.
The consequences of these grievances are a multitude of dangerous diseases. Diarrhoea in particular is caused by polluted drinking water. It is one of the most frequent causes of death among children in Africa and Asia.
The Swiss Red Cross is therefore committed to clean drinking water and hygiene as part of its health programmes. It supports the population of Nepal in the construction of wells and water pipes. Red Cross volunteers in Mali and Togo explain the consequences of poor hygiene or guide the village population in Haiti in the construction of latrines. Water and hygiene are important prerequisites for a healthy life.
In 2020, the Red Cross Gala and the Comitee intends to support these efforts. Together we can enable people to build a better future for themselves and their children.
Improving quality of life worldwide
In 2017, the Swiss Red Cross programmes enabled more than 4 million people in 30 countries to have better access to medical treatment.
The Swiss Red Cross improves the health of children every day in countries like Ghana, Bangladesh, Laos, Nepal, Pakistan, Ecuador, Honduras and Paraguay. With its programmes, the Red Cross supports women during pregnancy and childbirth, protects children from malnutrition and helps to strengthen women’s rights.