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Dhaka seeks robust action to ensure WASH in health facilities

Published : 25 Mar 2023 09:47 PM | Updated : 26 Mar 2023 12:37 PM

Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen has sought “robust action” to ensure safe drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) for all in healthcare facilities.

 He was speaking at a high-level event titled “Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Healthcare Facilities: Lesson Learned and the Way Forward” at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on Friday. Hungary and the Philippines jointly organised the event, the foreign ministry said.

 “We need more robust action than ever," he said, adding that globally 78 percent healthcare facilities had a basic water service and 51 percent had basic hygiene ensured in 2021.

 Around 10 percent of these facilities used by 780 million people had no sanitation.

 The foreign minister highlighted the major achievements of Bangladesh under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in ensuring safe drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene for all in the country.

 Under her leadership, he said, the National Strategy for Water supply and Sanitation 2021 has been adopted.

 “Around 98 percent of the people now have access to drinking water in Bangladesh,” he said, adding that Bangladesh pioneered the community led approach for promoting sanitation, which is now recognised and replicated in many developing countries.

The foreign minister offered specific recommendations to check the lack of progress in water, sanitation, and hygiene service worldwide.

 PéterSzijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary, Maria Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga, Secretary, Department of Environment and Natural Resources Republic of the Philippines and IrakliKarseladze, Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure of Georgia also spoke at the event.

 Diplomats, high officials of the UN and its various organisations, international NGOs working in the water sector and private stakeholders were present at the event.

 The Foreign Minister also attended a high-level side event titled “Revitalizing Social Protection Policies for Creating More Accessibility to Drinking Water”.

 The Bangladesh Social Scientists Foundation together with BRAC, AOSED, BWOT, JagoNari, GRAUS and SDA jointly organised the event at the Permanent Mission of Bangladesh to the UN in New York.

 He also held a bilateral meeting with Nik Nazmi bin Nik Ahmad, Minister for Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change of Malaysia and discussed issues of mutual interest, the foreign ministry said in a statement.