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More children killed by unsafe water, than bullets, says UNICEF chief

22 March 2019 12:45

ASTANA. KAZINFORM - UNICEF's 16-nation study into how water supplies effect children caught up in emergencies, also shows that children under-five are on average more than 20 times more likely to die from illnesses linked to unsafe water and bad sanitation, than from conflict, Kazinform has learned from UN News.

"The odds are already stacked against children living through prolonged conflicts - with many unable to reach a safe water source," said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore. "The reality is that there are more children who die from lack of access to safe water than by bullets."

According to the report, every year, 85,700 children under-15 die from diarrhoea linked to unsafe water, sanitation and hygiene facilities (WASH), compared with 30,900 from conflict.

Some 72,000 under-fives die annually from similar illnesses linked to WASH-access problems, compared to 3,400 from war-related violence.

UNICEF studied data from Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Iraq, Libya, Mali, Myanmar, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

It compared World Health Organization (WHO) mortality estimates for "collective violence" and "diarrhoeal disease".

On average, mortality estimates were higher for diarrhoeal disease than violence in under 15-year-olds - except in Libya, Iraq and Syria.

Under-fives were more likely to die from diarrhoeal disease in all countries except Libya and Syria, the UN report found.

Keywords: Environment, UN,
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