Access to safe drinking water and sanitation is not just a basic necessity but a fundamental human right, impacting billions of people globally and serving as a cornerstone of human dignity, health, and equality. Despite water and sanitation being recognized as human rights, 2.2 billion people lack clean drinking water, and 4.2 billion lack safe sanitation.
Recent approaches like “Making Rights Real” (MMR) and “WASH Systems Strengthening” address these challenges by tackling root causes and involving rights holders in decision-making. The Sovereign Order of Malta collaborates with partners in India, Nepal, and Uganda to implement a cross-regional WASH program, working with local organizations and motivating decision-makers.
Additionally, menstrual hygiene is an integral part of humanitarian and development work, aligned with Sustainable Development Goals. Providing education on menstruation, distributing hygiene kits, and building latrines in South Sudan and Haiti are some of the efforts to ensure dignity and health for women and girls. Period products are included in disaster relief kits, and communities are educated on their proper use.
The core objective is to ensure every individual, regardless of their circumstances, has access to clean water, sanitation, and appropriate menstrual hygiene, ultimately upholding human dignity, advancing health, and promoting gender equality.