Supporting sanitation for all

The Unilever Foundation and Domestos have been taking action against the global sanitation crisis by supporting UNICEF’s sanitation programmes which reach communities in some of the most vulnerable areas of the world.

Improving access to sanitation

Supporting sanitation for all

Since 2012, the partnership between Domestos and UNICEF has made significant progress in promoting good hygiene practices, helping create demand for access to toilets and raising awareness of the sanitation crisis.

As the first full year of this partnership draws to a close, an estimated further 600,000 people now live in communities that are free from open defecation in nine countries across Asia, Africa and Central America.

In 2013, support from the Unilever Foundation and Domestos will help UNICEF’s Community Approaches to Total Sanitation (CATS) programmes reach more communities affected by poor sanitation in order to improve the health and well-being of more mothers and children. Jean-Laurent Ingles, Global Senior Vice President, Household Care, Unilever, says: “Through our partnership with UNICEF, we aim to deliver solutions that improve the quality of people’s lives, and in turn, drive systemic and scalable social change.”

Improving health and restoring human dignity

About 2.5 billion people – almost 40% of the world’s population – do not have access to clean toilet facilities, with 1.1 billion practicing open defecation.

Poor sanitation and hygiene, along with contaminated water supplies, account for 80% of deaths from diarrhea. Children under five are among the worst affected. Therese Dooley, UNICEF Senior Advisor for Sanitation and Hygiene, says: “About 2,000 children die each day due to diarrhoea. This is the equivalent of seven aeroplanes full of children dying every day.

By improving sanitation we could stop 36% of this diarrhoea, or stop two of these planes from falling from the sky.”

Improving access to sanitation not only saves lives but also positively influences longer-term outcomes, such as education – particularly among girls – by reducing the number of schooldays lost to sickness or the need for privacy.

Engaging our consumers

Domestos is supporting its partnership with UNICEF with a marketing campaign which aims to “destroy germs and create smiles”. In the coming months, it will donate 5% of its average proceeds from the sale of specially marked bottles of Domestos in the UK, Ireland, Poland, Romania, France, Vietnam and the Philippines to UNICEF’s CATS programmes in the Philippines, South Sudan and Vietnam.

The funds will also be used to advance efforts that improve sanitation in Brazil, India and Indonesia.

Additionally, the Unilever Foundation will provide support for CATS to advance hygiene efforts in South Africa, Myanmar and Turkey.

The Unilever Foundation and Domestos partnerships with UNICEF on sanitation is just one action that we are taking as part of our commitment to help more than 1 billion people improve their health and well-being by 2020 and grow our business.

Find out more about our partnership with UNICEF, visit

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