Sanitation and Water

"We’re talking about the lives of millions of children." - Addis Ababa, 15 March 2016


Kevin believes that sanitation, water and hygiene are basic human rights. His recent appointment as Chair of Sanitation and Water for All (SWA), enables him to further deploy his skills, experience, and global expertise to solving this fundamental, yet widespread, challenge to humanity. SWA is a global partnership of over 100 country governments, external support agencies, civil society organizations and other development partners working together to catalyse political leadership and action, improve accountability and use scarce resources more effectively. It is supported by UNICEF and partners work towards a common vision of universal access to safe water and adequate sanitation.


During his time as Australia's Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Kevin developed a deep understanding of the challenges faced by millions of people around the world in finding access to clean water. He noted that sanitation, water and hygiene were areas of critical urgency, affecting the poorest people around the world, and especially women and children. A lack of access to clean water and basic sanitation not poses serious health risks that threaten and take countless lives, but also causes economic turmoil and significant gender inequality.


According to the World Health Organization, over 300,000 children under-five years of age died from diarrhoeal diseases due to a lack of safe water, sanitation and basic hygiene. International cooperation, increased government support, and greater awareness can save those, and many more, lives.


Kevin is working to see the Sustainable Development Goal Number 6, Clean Water and Sanitation, met. He is striving to have governments, development partners, civil society, research institutions and the private sector work together in a global framework to achieve real and defined targets that ensure access to water and sanitation for everyone. He is working for a world where innovative financing mechanisms means that no one has to die from contaminated water simply because clean water was too costly.


"The time is now right to focus on the unfolding water crisis. Not just the humanitarian angle, but also the impact on national security arising from water scarcity." - Davos, 21 January 2016