Samantha Cameron has hosted a reception at 10 Downing Street in support of WaterAid to draw attention to the more than 660 million people in the world without safe water and 2.3 billion without a decent toilet. Among those in attendance were prominent WaterAid supporters including Lord Leigh of Hurley; Member of Parliament Sir William Cash; former footballer and MBE Cyrille Regis, actor Dougray Scott and singer Rachel Stevens. The reception comes a day before WaterAid supporters present a 100,000 signature petition urging the UK Government to support a stand-alone goal on water and sanitation when the UN nation states sign up to the Sustainable Development Goals in September. The petition will call for ‘everyone everywhere’ to have access to water and sanitation by 2030 as fundamental to the eradication of extreme poverty. Barbara Frost, Chief Executive of WaterAid, said: ‘I would like to express WaterAid’s gratitude to Mrs Cameron for hosting this event to draw attention to the unacceptable fact that nearly 700 million people are still living without access to clean water and 2.3 billion without a decent toilet – the basics of life which are essential for families to thrive and to live healthy productive and dignified lives. ‘It was only 150 years ago that London dealt with the stench and filth of the polluted Thames putting in place the infrastructure to end cholera and transform lives and our city’s streets. We can draw lessons from this even today. ‘2015 is a ground-breaking year as the UN states sign up to the new Sustainable Development Goals to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030. Water, sanitation and hygiene are essential in this ambitious goal to transform billions of lives and political will and resources are needed to make it happen.’ On 15 July, MPs will join WaterAid supporters outside Westminster as they go back in time to the daily filth and disease of a Victorian street before modern sewerage became reality, and the Thames ceased to be London’s toilet. This month, the world’s leaders meet at a UN conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to discuss how to fund the Sustainable Development Goals which aim to eradicate extreme poverty and create a more sustainable world by 2030. WaterAid is lobbying to ensure access to clean water, basic sanitation and good hygiene remain central in these efforts. Ends About WaterAid WaterAid’s vision is of a world where everyone has access to safe water and sanitation. The international organisation works in 37 countries across Africa, Asia, Central America and the Pacific Region, working to transform lives by improving access to safe water, hygiene and sanitation in some of the world’s poorest communities. Since 1981, WaterAid has reached 21 million people with safe water and, since 2004, 18 million people with sanitation. For more information, visit www.wateraid.org, follow @WaterAidUK or @WaterAid or @WaterAidPress on Twitter, or visit us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/wateraid. Around 1,400 children die every day from diseases caused by dirty water and poor sanitation More than 660 million people are without safe water More than 2.3 billion people (around one in three) live without improved sanitation For every £1 invested in water and sanitation, an average of £4 is returned in increased productivity Just £15 can help provide one person with access to safe water For more information please contact Suzy Vickers, PR Manager, 0207 793 4995 or [email protected]. Or call our after-hours press line on 07887 521 552 or email [email protected].