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World Water Day urges action to solve water and sanitation crisis

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March 22 marks World Water Day, an annual observance that raises awareness and inspires action to tackle the water and sanitation crisis. This year’s theme is “Accelerating change”, calling for urgent and collaborative efforts to achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6: water and sanitation for all by 2030.

According to the latest data from the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF, 2 billion people worldwide lack safe drinking water, 3.6 billion people lack safe sanitation, and 1.4 million people die annually from diseases related to poor water, sanitation and hygiene. These figures show that the world is seriously off-track to meet SDG 6, which requires governments to work on average four times faster than they are currently doing.

The global campaign “Be the change” encourages people to take action in their lives to change how they use, consume and manage water. These actions can range from saving water at home, choosing sustainable products, supporting local initiatives, or advocating for policy changes. These promises from individuals and communities will contribute to the Water Action Agenda, a global platform for voluntary commitments that will be launched at the UN 2023 Water Conference.

The UN 2023 Water Conference (March 22-24, New York) is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to unite the world around solving the water and sanitation crisis. National governments and stakeholders from all levels of society will collaborate to make voluntary commitments to accelerating progress on SDG 6 and other internationally-agreed water-related goals and targets. The conference will also showcase best practices, innovations and solutions that can inspire collective action.

Water is one of the planet’s most precious resources. It holds immense value for human health, food security, economic development, environmental protection, cultural diversity and social justice. It is also essential for combating climate change, as water scarcity and pollution can exacerbate its impacts. Therefore, ensuring universal access to safe water and sanitation is not only a human right but also a moral duty for everyone.

World Water Day invites everyone to join the global movement for water justice. By taking action in our own lives and supporting others who do so, we can make a difference for ourselves and future generations.

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