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Published on: 01/08/2023

"I would like to congratulate the IRC team for the excellent work done in the context of the global Hand Hygiene for All initiative. The studies have been submitted to the central government ministries of Local Self-Government and Drinking Water and Sanitation. They are also being shared with state government and are expected to influence further work on hand hygiene in India."

– Sujoy Mojumdar, WASH Specialist, UNICEF

Ruchika Shiva (IRC India), Trisha Agarwala (CBGA), Nabanita Das (CYSD), Sujoy Mojumdar (UNICEF), Dr Chandra Shekhar Kumar (Additional Secretary, Ministry of Panchayati Raj), Yasumasa Kimura (UNICEF), Marije Broeckhuijsen (UNICEF) at the launch of the hand hygiene studies on Global Handwashing Day.In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF launched the Hand Hygiene for All initiative in 2020. More than 70 countries invested resources and energy to strengthen policy and systems and accelerate progress.

During the pandemic, IRC assisted the Government of India by conducting studies to support a strong hygiene system. Funded by UNICEF India, we worked with the Centre for Budget and Governance Accountability and the Centre for Youth and Social Development to map public budgets and the capacities required to increase good hand hygiene practices, at national, state, and local levels. We also developed a monitoring framework to guide hand hygiene system strengthening.

The reports and policy briefs of the studies were launched in October 2022, at an event to celebrate Global Handwashing Day, organised by UNICEF India in partnership with IRC and other sector partners. The publications were released by Dr. Chandra Shekhar Kumar, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Panchayati Raj, Government of India, and Yasumasa Kimura, UNICEF India Country office, Deputy Representative (Programmes), in the presence of representatives from civil society organisations, private sector, youth, and local government.

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