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    309910

    Progress for children: a report card on water and sanitation. Number 5.

    UNICEF

    New York, New York, UNICEF, 2006 Sep. 33 p.

    Water is as fundamental to human life as the air we breathe. Yet, ironically, this essence of life can have an injurious impact if its source is not free from pollution and infection -- and the most likely pollutant is human faeces that have not been disposed of and have spread because of a lack of basic sanitation and hygiene. Young children are more vulnerable than any other age group to the ill effects of unsafe water, insufficient quantities of water, poor sanitation and lack of hygiene. Globally, 10.5 million children under the age of five die every year, with most of these deaths occurring in developing countries. Lack of safe water, sanitation and adequate hygiene contribute to the leading killers of children under five, including diarrhoeal diseases, pneumonia, neonatal disorders and undernutrition. This means that Millennium Development Goal 7 -- to ensure environmental sustainability -- and its associated 2015 targets of reducing by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation are of vital relevance to children. MDG 7 is also crucial in relation to improving nutrition, education and women's status, and success in this field will thus play a major role in determining whether the world meets its MDG targets across the board. (excerpt)
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