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Dhaka seeks action to ensure safe drinking water, sanitation for all in healthcare facilities

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

Globally, 78 percent healthcare facilities had a basic water service and 51 percent had basic hygiene ensured in 2021, reports UNB.

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

“Against this backdrop, we need more robust action than ever,” Momen said while speaking at the high-level event, entitled “Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Healthcare Facilities: Lesson Learned and the Way Forward”, jointly organized by Hungary and the Philippines at the United Nations Headquarters on Friday.

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

Referring to the National Strategy for Water supply and Sanitation 2021, he said that in Bangladesh around 98 percent of the people have access to drinking water, more than 80 percent to improved sanitation facilities, and nearly 75 percent to hand-washing facilities.

Bangladesh pioneered the community led approach for promoting sanitation, which is now recognized and replicated in many developing countries, Momen said.

In light of Bangladesh’s successful experiences, Momen offered specific recommendations to check the lack of progress in water, sanitation, and hygiene service worldwide.

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

A significant number of diplomats, high officials of the UN and its various organizations, international NGOs working in the water sector and private stakeholders were present at the event.

Foreign Minister Momen also attended a high-level side event entitled “Revitalizing Social Protection Policies for Creating More Accessibility to Drinking Water” jointly organized by Bangladesh Social Scientists Foundation together with BRAC, AOSED, BWOT, Jago Nari, GRAUS and SDA at the Permanent Mission of Bangladesh to the UN in New York.

Momen 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.