Please find below a statement made in the House of Commons by Larry Bagnell of the Liberal Party, with the help of RESULTS Canada, yesterday in honour of World Water Day, March 22, 2010:
Mr. Speaker, today marks World Water Day. There are 1.4 billion people in the world do not have access to safe drinking water and 2.5 billion people who do not have access to basic sanitation. The lack of access to these basic requirements of healthy living is the world’s most horrific and least reported humanitarian disaster.
The lack of safe drinking water and adequate sanitation is the world’s single largest cause of sickness. People suffering from preventable water and sanitation related diseases occupy more than half of all the hospital beds in the developing world at any given time. Each year, an astounding 1.5 million children die from diarrheal diseases caused by dirty drinking water, poor sanitation and lack of hygiene promotion.
Canada has an opportunity to be a real leader internationally on global health issues by investing an initial commitment of $10 million to $15 million in the Global Sanitation Fund, a multilateral fund that supports community-driven sanitation and handwashing programs in the poorest communities around the world.
Immediate action must be taken to address this growing global crisis. We cannot sit on this issue any longer.