WaterAid urges governments to embrace WASH in the fight against malnutrition

Posted 29 August 2017

Close-Up of African Child Drinking WaterA new report released to coincide with World Water Week reveals how governments and water policymakers can help end malnutrition by tackling dirty water, poor sanitation and hygiene (WASH). 

The Recipe for Success report, produced jointly by WaterAid, Action Against Hunger and the SHARE Consortium, states that half of all the world’s undernutrition cases are linked to infection caused by lack of access to clean water, adequate sanitation and proper hygiene. 

“At current rates of progress, and with one in four children still suffering from stunted growth, the world will not meet the sustainable development goal target to end malnutrition by 2030,” said WaterAid’s Policy Analyst on Health and Hygiene and co-author of the report Megan Wilson-Jones. 

The report includes a toolkit to help national governments, policymakers, health professionals and charities combine WASH and nutrition into action plans and development programs aimed at fighting malnutrition. 

“The truth is that food alone will never be enough to tackle the problem [of malnutrition],” Wilson-Jones said. “We have to target its underlying causes too.”

The report looked at how well countries are integrating WASH and nutrition policies. Cambodia and Niger are leading the way, but many other countries across Asia and Africa are lagging behind. 

“We are calling on everyone working to end malnutrition – from governments to policymakers, practitioners to donors – to integrate water, sanitation and hygiene into nutritional policies and plans without delay,” Wilson-Jones said.

The report will be presented at World Water Week on Thursday, 31 August.

If you are interested in water, sanitation and hygiene, the World Toilet Summit is being held on 20-21 November in Melbourne this year.
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