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Published on: 16/09/2019

Women in Bangladesh queuing for water
Women in Gucchagram in Mirzapur, Chittagong, Bangladesh. Photo: Peter McIntyre/IRC

Global Citizen is an active engaged community that holds world leaders accountable and empowers individuals to demand a better fairer world for all. They do this through a movement of millions of engaged Global Citizens to help achieve the vision of a world without extreme poverty by 2030, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

IRC strongly supports Global Citizen’s mission, particularly its outreach to politicians and governments in encouraging them to make binding commitments on water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). Indeed, governments from many of the countries that IRC operates in have made pledges with Global Citizen, including the Dutch government who committed to providing 50 million people with clean toilets and 30 million people with clean water by 2030. IRC is playing a part in delivering on this pledge by providing recommendations on how to hold governments, civil society organisations, development partners and UN organisations accountable for their WASH pledges.

Nonetheless, there are still challenges in being able to reach all of the SDGs and deliver on the commitments made at global and national levels.

At IRC we know that this is due to many different factors. However, chief among these for water, sanitation and hygiene is a continuing lack of adequate money to finance the infrastructure and supporting systems needed to deliver services to everyone, everywhere, for good.

In addition, and perhaps of equal importance, is that the conversations around the need for water, sanitation and hygiene don’t tend to reach beyond those who are already interested in the topic. This means that as an issue there is a lack of awareness amongst those who need to understand and support the complexities of delivering safe and sustainable services to everyone such as government finance ministers, funders and influencers. Rather, conversations continue amongst those who are already involved in trying to find solutions and the issue doesn’t penetrate as far as it should. This results in the ongoing waste of billions of dollars every year on ill-informed projects with little to no planning included for maintenance of infrastructure nor to the systems required to sustain interventions beyond the life-cycle of a project.

This is why IRC is excited about being one of the advocacy partners at this year’s Global Citizens Festival. It offers the opportunity to present a more realistic and nuanced position of the actions needed to solve the global water, sanitation and hygiene crisis to a much broader audience than those already engaged with the issue.

Do keep an eye out for Global Citizen and IRC on Saturday September 28th. Global Citizen will be promoting IRC's work on their social channels. We will be sharing updates from the festival on our social media platforms and across the hashtags #PowerTheMovement, #GlobalCitizen and #WASHsystems.

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