Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Programs (WASH)
Water, sanitation and hygiene, known together as WASH, are essential for good health and well-being. Water is used not only for drinking but also for bathing, cooking, cleaning, waste disposal and agriculture. Yet, 783 million people around the world do not have reliable access to clean drinking water - 40 percent of them live on the continent of Africa. Even more people lack access to water for agriculture and other household tasks to meet their everyday needs. Around the world, 2.4 billion people lack adequate sanitation facilities. This lack of access to basic services results in more than 1,000 children dying daily from diseases, many of which are entirely preventable when WASH is addressed and sustained at the community level.
Global Ministries works to address these needs through WASH programs that are accomplished through grants coordinated by the Global Health unit, supporting the work of partners, while others are implemented through the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR). Grants support integrated programs whose solutions account for the need for behavioral changes while increasing access to improved water sources and sanitation facilities in the most vulnerable and disadvantaged communities. Every US $1 spent on water, sanitation and hygiene generates US $4.30 in increased productivity and decreased health-care costs.
More than half of the households on the continent of Africa depend on farming for their livelihood. Programs that support sustainable agriculture and development help improve the lives of thousands across the continent. Using integrated solutions and working through UMCOR partners, we are able to address the root causes of food insecurity in many communities. The program works to scale up access to improved farming and agricultural methods, increase crop yields and market access, improve food storage, crop diversity, and nutrition in target households and communities. Special consideration is given to projects focusing on subsistence and small-scale farmers, particularly female farmers.
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