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UN General Assembly Declares Water a Human Right: MADRE Applauds the Decision

Today, the UN General Assembly declared access to water and sanitation a human right. MADRE applauds this decision.

17 percent of the world's population lacks access to safe water. Every year, nearly 1.8 million people (90 percent of them children under five) die from diarrhea caused by dirty water. Typhoid, cholera, and other deadly diseases are also spread by contaminated water, bringing the death toll from water related diseases to a staggering 3.5 million people a year. In fact, unsafe drinking water is the source of 80 percent of disease worldwide and kills more children every year than wars, malaria and HIV/AIDS combined.

MADRE, our partners and progressive organizations around the world have long recognized the right to water as a human right. Not only does it underpin the most basic of human rights–people's right to life–access to safe water is also essential to the enjoyment of all other human rights.

Because international standards did not reflect that reality, MADRE has worked as part of an international effort for a United Nations water covenant that would commit governments to treat water as an entitlement, guaranteeing that every person has a secure, accessible and affordable supply of healthy water. We've also continued working with our partners on the ground to make this right a reality in Gaza, Kenyaand Nicaragua.

Right now, you can help us provide clean water for women and families in Gaza.

Read more about water as a human right.

July 28, 2010  / Environmental Justice