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Clean Water Remains an Urgent Need Worldwide

Although many of us in developed countries take clean water for granted, others around the world are not so fortunate. Millions of people in developing nations lack basic access to clean water, which can be a significant contributing factor in the spread of preventable disease and, ultimately, child mortality. ChildFund works in some of the poorest countries in the world to provide children and their communities with access to clean water, and you can help us by sponsoring children or purchasing an item from our Gifts of Love and Hope catalog. The generous support of our sponsors and donors enables ChildFund to bring clean water to entire villages.

Image of children at water pump
With your donations, ChildFund helps provide clean water to many people.

An Urgent Need

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 2 million people, most under 5 years old, died in 2011 from diarrheal diseases associated with a lack of access to clean water; between 5 and 15 percent of deaths in parts of Africa, Asia and South America are connected to poor water, sanitation and hygiene. An estimated 780 million people live without clean water — more than twice the population of the United States. Most deaths associated with unclean water are from diseases such as cholera and diarrhea.

The toll that poor sanitation takes on children around the world is staggering. Data from UNICEF suggests that the number of children who die from waterborne diseases caused by poor sanitation every year would be the equivalent of a jumbo jet crashing every four hours. By contrast, an American taking a five-minute shower uses more water than the average person in a slum in the developing world uses all day. It is clear that action needs to be taken to prevent further loss of life and ensure that the most vulnerable children around the world have access to clean water.

An estimated 780 million people live without clean water — more than twice the population of the United States.

Cause for Hope

Although the statistics above are sobering, there has been much progress made during the past two decades. According to a 2012 UNICEF report, more than 2 billion people worldwide have gained access to improved drinking water sources since 1990. This substantial gain is largely due to programs spearheaded by the United Nations and nongovernmental organizations such as ChildFund.

Despite the measurable gains observed in recent years, there is still an urgent need to improve access to clean water. At present, the U.N. lags behind its established Millennium Development Goal of improving access to sanitation services, though the goal related to clean drinking water has been met, according to WHO. Unless the momentum behind these initiatives is maintained, many more children around the world will die needlessly.

Doing Your Part

Because much work remains to reduce the number of preventable deaths as a result of unclean water and poor sanitation, we need your help. Sponsoring children remains one of the best ways for you to make a difference in the life of a child and provide them with the clean drinking water and sanitary facilities they need to stay healthy.

Our Gifts of Love and Hope catalog offers you a range of ways to help. ChildFund works in countries such as India to provide children with water filters that help eliminate waterborne bacteria, making it safe to drink. From Ethiopia to Mexico, ChildFund is working to help give children and their families greater access to clean water and offer them the hope of a brighter future. Your generous support enables us to continue working to make the world a safer place for children.

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