Call to Action for WASH in Schools is the result of a collaboration between CARE, Dubai Cares, Emory University Center for Global Safe Water, IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre, Save the Children, United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), Water Advocates, WaterAid, Water For People and the World Health Organization (WHO). The report puts forward a six-point plan towards providing each and every school child with access to quality water, child-friendly sanitation and hygiene facilities, and hygiene education for lifelong health; and it calls on decision-makers to increase investments and on concerned stakeholders to plan and act in cooperation -- so that all children go to a school with child-friendly water, sanitation and hygiene facilities.
- If the Millennium Development Goals for water and sanitation are reached, it is estimated that absenteeism in schools would be reduced by 272 million school days per year.
- Fewer than half of primary schools have adequate water facilities, and nearly two thirds lack adequate sanitation facilities in a survey conducted among 60 developing countries where data are available.
- A girl can miss up to 10% of her school days during menstruation, a loss that could be averted through WASH in Schools programming.
- Only 27 out of 60 developing countries surveyed have a national plan of action that provides space for WASH in Schools.
- Recommendations for a six-point plan include: increase investment in WASH in Schools, mobilizing resources to secure children's health, now and for generations to follow; engage those who set policies at the global, national, sub-national and local levels to support WASH in Schools; involve multiple stakeholders -- community members, civil society advocates, media, students, school staff, local and regional authorities, national ministries of education, water and health, non-governmental organizations and public-private partnerships -- in the cooperative plans and actions that sustain WASH in Schools; demonstrate quality WASH in Schools programs that yield a healthy school environment; monitor WASH in Schools programs to ensure accountability and evaluate progress; and contribute evidence that provides a solid base for informed decision-making and effective distribution of funds.