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October 16, 2020

Investment in clean water, hygiene to help prevent spread of COVID-19

Islamabad

October 16, 2020

Islamabad : On this Global Handwashing Day, which is themed around ‘Hand Hygiene for All’ WaterAid Pakistan joined hands with the government and other stakeholders to mark the day to highlight the fact that frequent handwashing with soap is one of the most effective ways of preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Without this frontline defence, the risk of the virus spreading in communities is greater. In Pakistan, WaterAid joined hands with Save the Children, UNICEF and Ministry of Climate Change to arrange an international webinar to highlight the importance of hand hygiene.

Speaking at the webinar UK Minister for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office Wendy Morton said, “Handwashing is more important because COVID is not going away and we need to focus on relevance of messaging around Handwashing. She also emphasised on the need for climate resilient programs so that stress on water resources can be reduced. She also reaffirmed commitment to support Pakistan’s efforts to ensure hand hygiene for all”.

Minister of State for Climate Change Zartaj Gul while speaking at the webinar said the government with support of INGOs and civil society actors will leave no one behind in the Sustainable Development Agenda, hence it will focus on addressing inequalities in access to hand washing facilities and programs to reduce the risk of the marginalised groups to diseases that impact their health, education and economic outcomes.

Moreover, in collaboration with Federal Directorate of Education WaterAid Pakistan organised an event at a local school of the capital city with due safety protocols. This event was aimed at highlighting the importance of hand hygiene for everyone. The event was attended by the representatives of federal government institutions and development partners.

In connection with Global Handwashing Day, Country Director WaterAid Pakistan Siddiq Ahmed Khan said “Nearly 80 million people in Pakistan are still living without basic handwashing facilities. To ensure hand hygiene for everyone everywhere we need significant increase in our current investment for clean water and hygiene. We need to work together with government, civil society and development partners to make this a top priority so that everyone, including the most vulnerable in our society, have the chance of a healthy and secure future”.