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On World Water Day, WCC and ACT Alliance urge ensuring access to clean water for hand-washing

On World Water Day, WCC and ACT Alliance urge ensuring access to clean water for hand-washing

A child collects water at the Rohingya refugee camp, Bangladesh. Photo: Marcelo Schneider/WCC, 2019

21 March 2020

On World Water Day, observed 22 March, the World Council of Churches (WCC) and ACT Alliance released a joint statement urging churches and faith-based organisations to ensure that people have access to clean, affordable, sufficient water to meet their physical and domestic needs, including that of hand-washing.

The statement comes in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic during which one of the most important pieces of advice for prevention of infection is hand-washing with soap and water.

“However, it is not possible for everyone in the world to wash their hands several times a day simply because they do not have access to adequate safe and clean water for drinking, let alone for hand-washing,” the statement reads. “People in refugee camps, for instance, are at greater risk due to lack of sufficient water.”

Until the world finds a vaccine for COVID-19, hand-washing with soap and water is our best preventative measure, along with social distancing.

“WCC and ACT Alliance recognize and affirm the World Health Organization’s guidelines to prevent infection and combat the pandemic and call upon their members around the world to  give highest priority to ‘doing whatever we can do to protect life’ and to follow strictly the rules and guidelines from authorities based on WHO guidelines,” the statement reads.

Read the full statement

"Coping with the Coronavirus" - WCC landing page

ACT Alliance

Learn more about the WCC's Ecumenical Water Network