UNICEF and Unilever unite to improve access to safe water in Africa
Nairobi / Dakar – UNICEF and Unilever today announced a partnership to improve access to safe water in countries across sub-Saharan Africa. The partnership will focus first on four countries: Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire.
Bruno Witvoet, President Unilever Africa
We want our brands to make a difference to the lives of the people of Africa
The new agreement includes financial investment as well as strategic engagement with government and civil society. It aims to implement innovative community and school-based programmes to promote sustainable management of safe water and also to improve hygiene and handwashing practices.
“Africa’s population is surging and access to safe drinking water remains a serious problem for present and future generations,” said UNICEF’s Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa, Leila Gharagozloo-Pakkala. “Over the next two years, this partnership will not only ensure children and communities have access to safe drinking water, but that it is sustainable and scalable across the continent.”
Bruno Witvoet, President Unilever Africa, said: “At Unilever we want our brands to make a difference to the lives of the people of Africa, but the scale of challenges such as providing safe water go far beyond what any organisation, public or private can do alone. This partnership will draw on the joint expertise, resources and networks of both UNICEF and Unilever, to magnify our efforts so we improve the quality of life for ordinary people and help Africa meet the Sustainable Development Goals."
In Kenya, one-in-three people lack access to safe drinking water, while in Nigeria at least 150,000 children below five years of age die every year as a result of diarrhea, and 70 million people lack access to improved water sources. In Côte d’Ivoire, 90% of schools and health care centres lack access to improved water supplies. In Ghana, over two million people use water from unsafe sources.
Despite unfavorable conditions, the potential to improve the situation for children is real. Due to the achievements realised through the Millennium Development Goals, an additional 47,000 people in sub-Saharan Africa now have access to safe drinking water every day, an increase of 20% compared to 25 years ago. The Unilever-UNICEF partnership seeks to demonstrate scalable water management models that deliver results and drives further investment in this critical area for the continent.
UNICEF and Unilever began collaborating in 2012 under a global partnership to address the sanitation crisis.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org
100 Victoria Embankment
London EC4Y 0DY
This announcement may contain forward-looking statements, including 'forward-looking statements' within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as 'will', 'aim', 'expects', 'anticipates', 'intends', 'looks', 'believes', 'vision', or the negative of these terms and other similar expressions of future performance or results, and their negatives, are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based upon current expectations and assumptions regarding anticipated developments and other factors affecting the Unilever group (the "Group"). They are not historical facts, nor are they guarantees of future performance.
Because these forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, there are important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Among other risks and uncertainties, the material or principal factors which could cause actual results to differ materially are: Unilever's global brands not meeting consumer preferences; Unilever's ability to innovate and remain competitive; Unilever's investment choices in its portfolio management; inability to find sustainable solutions to support long-term growth; customer relationships; the recruitment and retention of talented employees; disruptions in our supply chain; the cost of raw materials and commodities; the production of safe and high quality products; secure and reliable IT infrastructure; successful execution of acquisitions, divestitures and business transformation projects; economic and political risks and natural disasters; financial risks; failure to meet high ethical standards; and managing regulatory, tax and legal matters. Further details of potential risks and uncertainties affecting the Group are described in the Group's filings with the London Stock Exchange, NYSE Euronext in Amsterdam and the US Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Group's Annual Report on Form 20-F for the year ended 31 December 2013 and Annual Report and Accounts 2013. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this announcement. Except as required by any applicable law or regulation, the Group expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect any change in the Group's expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.