Raise your hand for hygiene!

17 Jul 2015

A global call for a hygiene indicator in the Sustainable Development Goals

We at End Water Poverty, along with many of our members, are very proud to be part of a recent initiative to make sure that hygiene is not neglected in the post-2015 agenda. Initiated by the Global Public-Private Partnership on Handwashing, we joined over 100 organisations signing on to a letter calling for a critical change to the SDGs and that it is essential for hygiene to be prioritised. 

 
As organizations working to advance access to water, sanitation, and hygiene globally, we welcome the creation of the Inter-Agency Expert Group and the work underway to agree measures of progress towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. We acknowledge the importance of a streamlined framework, but respectfully express our concern that in the midst of this complex process, the intention to measure hygiene, expressed in draft target 6.2, has been put at risk.

The agreement of Sustainable Development Goal 6 later this year is a significant opportunity to catalyze global action on the water, sanitation, and hygiene crisis, which costs thousands of lives every day, in addition to considerable resources of families and economies. However, achieving this Goal depends on a global-level commitment to monitoring the different components of the Goal. Goal 6 cannot be achieved if hygiene, a key component, were to be omitted from the list of indicators. We are concerned to hear that the proposals issued to the IAEG on Monday, 1st June 2015 for the water, sanitation, and hygiene goal included indicators for water and sanitation but not hygiene. Absence of a hygiene indicator would result in omission of hygiene in implementation and monitoring strategies for Goal 6.

Hygiene is one of the most important interventions for human health and development and it is a truly universal necessity. Hygiene is fundamental to reducing child mortality, fighting undernutrition, overcoming antibiotic resistance, and advancing access to education. Ultimately, hygiene advances gender equity, dignity, and human rights. It underpins the delivery of several other Sustainable Development Goals.

If we fail to prioritise hygiene, we will simply repeat the mistakes of the past. We must ensure no one is left behind. ‪#‎endwaterpoverty‬

Download and read the Final Hygiene Indicator Letter July 2015 signed by all of the organisations in partnership.

Sign on as an individual here and spread the word to call for change!