One in 3 schoolchildren lacks access to clean drinking water: UN

Himalaya Times
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One in three children worldwide does not have access to clean drinking water while at school, impacting their health and ability to learn, the United Nations said Wednesday.

"Globally, almost one in three schools has no drinking water from an improved source," the UN cultural agency UNESCO said in a new report.

"One in three schools worldwide has no basic sanitation," meaning a toilet and sewage system, the agency found, while "almost half of schools do not have handwashing facilities with water and soap".

Clean drinking water and handwashing facilities are key to protecting children against the likes of Covid-19, parasites, respiratory illnesses and diarrhea, said school health and nutrition expert Emilie Sidaner, who oversaw the report.

"There needs to be more investment in water and sanitation as well as all other infrastructure that enables quality learning," Sidaner said. "If pupils are not in good health, well-fed and protected in school, it's even harder for them to take in what their school can teach them."

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