Unilever supports UNICEF sanitation programme

Around the world, an estimated 2.5 billion people do not have access to improved sanitation1. This results in millions of deaths each year, puts communities at risk of disease, and impacts progress in health, education, gender equality and social and economic development.

Poor sanitation puts lives at risk

Such poor sanitation is a leading cause of diarrhoea, which results in the deaths of 3,000 children every day2. But improved sanitation can reduce diarrhoea morbidity by 36%3.

To help address this issue, the Unilever Foundation and Unilever’s Domestos brand are partnering with UNICEF to support its Community Approaches to Total Sanitation (CATS) programme.

Raising awareness & creating demand

The initiative aims to raise awareness of the sanitation crisis, promote good hygiene practices and create demand for access to toilets.

“The contributions of Domestos and the Unilever Foundation will support our programmes in nine countries,” explains Therese Dooley, UNICEF Senior Sanitation and Hygiene Programme Advisor.

“Through this partnership, UNICEF will be able to achieve greater scale and impact in changing social norms by explaining the link between open defecation and disease, giving communities the knowledge and motivation to construct and use toilets and creating open defecation-free communities.”

Reaching 400,000 people in year one

With support of the Unilever Foundation and Domestos, CATS programmes in this first year will result in an estimated 400,000 people living in open defecation-free communities across Gambia, Ghana, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, South Sudan, Sudan and Vietnam.

“As one of the leading toilet hygiene brands, Domestos has a real commitment to improving sanitation,” says Unilever Chief Marketing Officer Keith Weed.

“The brand’s support of UNICEF is just one example of how we are delivering increased social value as part of our growth strategy.”

Consumers can help

Consumers can help support these CATS programmes by buying specially marked bottles of Domestos in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Vietnam between 1 June and 31 August, and in Poland, UK and Ireland between 1 July and 30 September.

Domestos will contribute 5% of its average proceeds* from the sale of each of these bottles to CATS programmes in South Sudan and Vietnam.

In addition to this partnership with UNICEF, Unilever is also proactively addressing the sanitation crisis as part of its commitment to Sustainable Living through partnerships with Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP) and the World Toilet Organization (WTO). 

*About Domestos Cause-marketing Campaign

For every Domestos bleach product purchased with a promotional neck hanger/sticker Unilever gives to UNICEF (exchange rate source: UN Treasury, Feb 2012):

During the period 1st June to 31st August 2012

  • In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 0,15 Saudi Riyal

  • In the United Arab Emirates 0,14 United Arab Emirates Dirham

  • In Vietnam, 1.100 VND

During the period 1st July to 31st September 2012:

  • In the UK, 2 pence. UNICEF UK Registered Charity No: 1072612

  • In the Republic of Ireland, €0.033. UNICEF Ireland Registered Charity No: 5616

  • In Poland, 0,23  Zloty

1WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme:  Progress on Drinking Water and Sanitation.  2012 Update.
2WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme:  Progress on Drinking Water and Sanitation.  2012 Update.
3Esrey et al, 1991; Fewtrell et al, 2005