Due to climate change, crises and conflicts, two billion people do not have secure access to clean water. Access to clean drinking water and sanitation is a fundamental human right, however. It not only ensures survival, but also a number of other human rights.
For example, clean water is essential for preventing and combating infectious diseases such as Ebola, cholera and COVID.
The lack of access to water, sanitation and hygiene particularly disadvantages women and children in acute crises. Children face an increased risk of contracting infectious diseases. Women have special hygiene needs during pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding or during menstruation.
The Russian war of aggression against Ukraine clearly shows us how essential access to water is. Russia’s destruction of water systems and civilian infrastructure is a targeted attack on human rights. Doing our utmost to restore access must therefore be a fundamental part of our humanitarian response to the war.
In addition, we must strengthen our commitment to water and sanitation and ensure that more people have access to these essential human rights.
The Federal Foreign Office sets great store by humanitarian assistance in the field of water, sanitation and hygiene, providing 96.3 million euro for this purpose last year.