Safe drinking water, a human right essential

Access to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation is a human right essential to the full enjoyment of life and all other human rights, the UN General Assembly declared on 28 July 2010.

The 192-member Assembly also called on United Nations Member States and international organizations to offer funding, technology and other resources to help poorer countries scale up their efforts to provide clean, accessible and affordable drinking water and sanitation for everyone. The Assembly resolution received 122 votes in favour (including the one from Switzerland) and zero votes against, while 41 countries abstained from voting.

Currently, an estimated 884 million people lack access to safe drinking water and a total of more than 2.6 billion people do not have access to basic sanitation. Studies also indicate about 1.5 million children under the age of five die each year and 443 million school days are lost because of water- and sanitation-related diseases.

Further information:

www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2010/ga10967.doc.htm

www.righttowater.info/

(Source: UN news center)

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