663 million people live without clean water.

2.4 billion people don't have access to adequate sanitation, one in three of the world's population.

289,000 children under 5 die each year due to diarrhoeal diseases caused by poor water and sanitation. That’s 800 a day, or 1 child every 2 minutes.


The crisis

Diarrhoea caused by dirty water and bad sanitation is the second biggest child killer worldwide. A lack of clean water and toilets keeps girls out of school, stops women from working, and traps people in poverty.

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Our approach

We tackle the crisis from all angles. We work with local partners to deliver clean water and toilets and promote good hygiene, and campaign to make change happen for everyone everywhere.

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Policy and practice

How can water, sanitation and hygiene help end extreme poverty? How does climate change affect our work? How can we ensure the poorest and most vulnerable people are not left behind? These are just some of the questions you can find the answers to in our policy, practice and advocacy pages.

More about our policy, practice and advocacy work >

Clean drinking water, proper toilets and good hygiene are essential, yet millions of people don’t have access to these basic services.

Across the world, women are forced to waste precious time walking long distances to collect dirty water. Girls are dropping out of school because there are no private toilets, and young children are not surviving to see their fifth birthday because of preventable diseases.

Help end this crisis for everyone everywhere by 2030 >

Global Goals

At the UN General Assembly in September 2015, member states decided on a set of new 'Sustainable Development Goals' or 'Global Goals' for the world to work towards to end extreme poverty by 2030. The new Global Goals include a dedicated goal for water and sanitation to tackle the crisis head on.

Our approach >

Nurse listening to heartbeat of pregnant lady


Clean water, a clean living environment and a clean body are essential for good human health. By focusing on health in our research, programme and advocacy work, our efforts to improve access to water, sanitation and hygiene are better placed to transform the lives of those we reach.

The value of WASH >

Maintenance on a water point in Bangladesh


Improvements to water supply and sanitation services should deliver permanent benefits to their users. Unless we give serious attention to the issue of service sustainability and permanent behaviour change, we will not achieve universal and lasting access to water, sanitation and hygiene by 2030.

Delivering lasting change >