Decade’s WeeklyUnited Nations, Water for Life, UN Water
 News from the International Decade for Action ’Water for Life’ 2005-2015
  Issue 53. 21 November 2014 
This week in focus  Editor’s note

Welcome to the Decade’s Weekly! Every week we bring you the latest news from the International Decade for Action ’Water for Life’ 2005-2015. Please feel free to share this newsletter. You can also access this newsletter online.

Tip of the week

Tip of the week

Today, there are 2.5 billion people worldwide who still do not use an improved sanitation facility and a little over 1 billion practising open defecation. Want to know more?

>> Visit the Water for Life Decade’s section on Access to Sanitation
>> Access to a selection of UN publications on sanitation


World Toilet Day 2014 highlights dignity and equality

Date: 19 November 2014
Place: Worldwide
Organisers: UN-Water in collaboration with Governments and relevant stakeholders.

2.5 billion people around the world do not have access to a clean and safe toilet. 1 billion people practice open defecation and many women and girls are assaulted because they lack a toilet that offers privacy. In 2013, the United Nations General Assembly designated 19 November as World Toilet Day to draw attention to the global sanitation crisis. The 2014 campaign has focused on dignity and equality, especially inspiring action to end open defecation and putting a spotlight on how access to improved sanitation leads to a reduction in violence on women.

This year’s initiatives include the End Open Defecation, Sanitation Drive, and the Urgent Run among others. World Toilet Day featured a high-level event at the UN headquarters and the launch of the 2014 UN-Water Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-Water (GLAAS).

>> UN Secretary General’s Message for 2014
>> World Toilet Day website
>> UN experts joint statement for World Toilet Day: Three UN experts, one common view on equality and dignity when it comes to sanitation

In the news Forthcoming events
#GLAASReport New GLAAS Report reveals gaps, especially in rural areas

According to the new UN-Water Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-Water (GLAAS 2014), international aid for water and sanitation is on the rise. Aid commitments are increasingly targeted to underserved regions, notably sub-Saharan Africa, Southern Asia and South-east Asia. GLAAS 2014 also highlights the strengthened targeting of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) resources for the poor. However, the report cites a number of key challenges, highlighting insufficient financing, funding gaps in rural areas, weak national capacity to execute WASH plans, critical gaps in monitoring, and neglect for WASH in schools and health facilities. Published biannually, the report presents data from 94 countries and 23 external support agencies. It offers a comprehensive analysis of strengths and challenges in water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) provision within and across countries.
>> Full press release >> Access GLAAS Report and related documents

#DrowningReport 1st WHO global report on drowning reveals it is among the 10 leading causes of death for children and young people in every region

The "Global report on drowning: preventing a leading killer" highlights that drowning claims the lives of 372,000 people each year. More than 90% of these deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries such as Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam, and the highest rates for drowning are among children under 5 years of age. The report calls for a substantial scaling-up of efforts and resources to prevent drowning and outlines several actions to be taken by both national policy-makers and local communities. It also draws attention to the need to make drowning prevention an integral part of a number of debates, such as climate change which leads to increased flooding; mass migrations, including asylum seekers travelling by boat; and issues such as rural development and water and sanitation. Improving coordination across these various agendas will save lives, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
>> Full press release >> Access WHO Global report on drowning: preventing a leading killer

#MenstrualHygiene SCA and WSSCC partner to educate on menstrual issues and the importance of good hygiene

SCA, a leading global hygiene and forest products company, and the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC), entered into an innovative partnership to break the silence around menstruation for women and girls around the world, 17 November. The initiative aims to break the menstrual taboos that jeopardize the health of millions of women every day, raise awareness of menstrual hygiene and empower women and communities to participate fully in society socially, educationally and professionally.
>> More information

#DroughtPolicies 5th Regional Drought Workshop for Near East and North Africa

Organised by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), and the UN-Water Decade Programme on Capacity Development (UNW-DPC), the 5th Regional Drought Workshop took place in Cairo, Egypt, from 17-20 November 2014, and identified the capacity needs from national to local levels to develop drought policies and implement risk based drought management strategies. The objective of the joint initiative "Capacity Development to Support National Drought Management Policies" is to increase the capacities in developing countries and countries in transition in developing risk-based national drought management policies.
>> More information

#Disasters&SIDS Collaborative Approaches and Solutions to Disasters Management Challenges for Small Island Developing States (SIDS)

The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN-DESA), in collaboration with the United Nations Centre for Regional Development (UNCRD) and other UN agencies, organized in Singapore from 10 to 12 November 2014 a capacity-building seminar on "Collaborative Approaches and Solutions to Disasters Management Challenges for SIDS Municipalities in the Context of Sustainable Development". The seminar brought together relevant stakeholders to discuss the vulnerabilities and challenges of the SIDS municipalities in regard to the increasing occurrence and intensity of natural disasters, impacts of sea-level rise and other risks posed by climate change. It also looked at capacity building for resilience and at various issues including best practices and lessons learned in infrastructure, community-based solutions, finance and resource mobilization and partnerships with private sector.
>> More information

#Water&Health 10th meeting of the Compliance Committee under the Protocol on Water and Health

Date: 25 November 2014
Place: Geneva, Switzerland
Organisers: United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Europe

The main objective of the meeting of the Compliance Committee under the Protocol on Water and Health to the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes is to discuss the different follow up actions planned as the result of the decisions taken by the Meeting of the Parties to the Protocol at its third session.
>> Draft agendaPDF document
>> More information

#Water&Health 7th meeting of the Working Group on Water and Health

Date: 26-27 November 2014
Place: Geneva, Switzerland
Organisers: United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Europe

The main objective of the meeting is to review the implementation of the programme of work for the period 2014-2016, adopted at the third session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Protocol (Oslo, 25-27 November 2013), and to provide guidance on its further development, with particular consideration of the financial situation. The meeting will be held back to back with the tenth meeting of the Protocol’s Compliance Committee.
>> Draft agendaPDF document
>> More information

#WaterSolidarity What tools, what financial mechanisms in Europe for universal access to safe drinking water and sanitation?

Date: 26-27 November 2014
Place: Strasbourg, France
Organisers: United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Global Water Solidarity (GWS), Solidarity Water Europe (SWE)

Organized in the context of International Solidarity Week and preparations for the 7th World Water Forum, this symposium will bring together high-level experts, representatives of European and international institutions as well as representatives of local authorities and civil society organisations. Its objective will be to outline the general framework of financing mechanisms for cooperation and solidarity in the field of water - at the level of the European Union, its member States and local authorities - in order to develop and/or strengthen these mechanisms and to step up actions to foster access to water and sanitation for all.
>> Event agenda and documents
>> More information about the programme

From the Decade’s Programmes
#WaterSecurity UNW-DPAC Director participated in the Seminar "Water Security, a Brazilian Vision: Water and Energy. Tools for Sustainability" and the "Cultivating Good Water" Encounter

Date: 18-20 November
Place: Iguaçu Falls, Brazil
Organisers: Itaipú Binaçional, Seção Brasil Conselho Mundial da Água, Rede Brasil de Organismos de Bacias Hidrográficas, Cultivando Água Boa

During three days, representatives of various governments, businesses and NGOs discussed challenges related to water resources management in response to the energy needs of Brazil, mining and energy, hydropower generation and the implementation of strategic projects. Josefina Maestu, UNW-DPAC Director, participated with a keynote speech on "Water and Energy. The New Challenges of Sustainable Development Goals" on 19 November. The seminar ended with a meeting of the "Cultivando Aqua Boa" (CAB) Programme, with representatives from several countries adopting the CAB methodology, including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Paraguay and Spain.
>> More informationDisponible en portugués
>> Meeting of the "Cultivando Agua Boa" ProgrammeDisponible en portugués

Did you know?

Did you know?

Women and girls living without toilets spend 97 billion hours a year walking to unhealthy and sometimes unsafe locations to defecate.
>>UN-Water World Toilet Day infographic

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