As schools worldwide wrestle with reopening, the latest data from the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) reveal that 43 per cent of faculties all around the world lacked entry to major handwashing with cleansing cleaning soap and water in 2019 – a key state of affairs for schools to have the power to perform safely throughout the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Worldwide school closures given that onset of the COVID-19 pandemic have supplied an unprecedented downside to kids’s education and wellbeing,” acknowledged Henrietta Fore, UNICEF Authorities Director. “We must always prioritize kids’s learning. This suggests making certain that schools are safe to reopen – along with with entry at hand hygiene, clear ingesting water and safe sanitation.” 

Consistent with the report, spherical 818 million kids lack major handwashing providers at their schools, which locations them at elevated hazard of COVID-19 and completely different transmittable illnesses. A number of third of these kids (295 million) are from sub-Saharan Africa. Throughout the least developed nations, 7 out of 10 schools lack major handwashing providers and half of faculties lack major sanitation and water suppliers.

The report stresses that governments looking for to handle the unfold of COVID-19 ought to stability the need for implementation of public properly being measures versus the associated social and monetary impacts of lockdown measures. Proof of the damaging impacts of prolonged school closures on kids’s safety, wellbeing and learning are well-documented, the report says.

“Entry to water, sanitation and hygiene suppliers is necessary for environment friendly an an infection prevention and administration in all settings, along with schools,” acknowledged Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-Widespread. “It must be a severe focus of presidency strategies for the safe reopening and operation of faculties in the middle of the continuing COVID-19 worldwide pandemic.”

Totally different key findings from the report embody:

  • Of the 818 million kids who lacked a major handwashing service at their school, 355 million went to varsities which had providers with water nevertheless no cleansing cleaning soap, and 462 million to varsities which had no providers or water on the market for handwashing.
  • Throughout the 60 nations at highest hazard of properly being and humanitarian crises due to COVID-19, three in 4 kids lacked major handwashing service at their school firstly of the outbreak; half of all kids lacked major water service; and better than half lacked major sanitation service.
  • 1 in three schools worldwide had each restricted ingesting water service or no ingesting water service the least bit.
  • 698 million kids lacked major sanitation service at their school. 

The report identifies quite a few property essential for COVID-19 prevention and administration in schools, along with 10 fast actions and safety checklists. It builds on recommendations on the safe reopening of faculties issued by UNESCO, UNICEF, WFP and the World Monetary establishment with wise advice for nationwide and native authorities on one of the simplest ways to place collectively for safe school reopening and preserve kids safe as soon as they return to highschool. The principles embody quite a few WASH-related protocols on hygiene measures, use of personal defending instruments, cleaning and disinfection, along with providing entry to clean water, handwashing stations with cleansing cleaning soap, and safe loos.

UNICEF and WHO are devoted to reaching equitable entry to ample WASH suppliers worldwide. The companies recently launched a joint initiative, Hand Hygiene for All, to assist primarily essentially the most weak communities with the means to protect their properly being and environment. It brings collectively worldwide companions, nationwide governments, personal and non-private sectors, and civil society to ensure moderately priced providers and merchandise may be discovered, significantly in disadvantaged areas.


For additional information, please contact:

Sara Alhattab, UNICEF Headquarters (understanding of Jordan), Tel: +962 7 80180363,
WHO Media Enquiries: Tel: +41 22 791 2222,


UNICEF works in among the many world’s hardest areas, to succeed on the planet’s most disadvantaged kids. All through better than 190 nations and territories, we work for every child, all over the place, to assemble a better world for everyone.

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About WHO

The World Properly being Group directs and coordinates worldwide properly being all through the United Nations system. Working with its 194 Member States, WHO’s mission is to promote properly being, preserve the world safe and serve the weak.

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Regarding the Joint Monitoring Programme

The WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) for Water Present, Sanitation and Hygiene is answerable for monitoring worldwide progress within the course of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) targets and indicators relating ingesting water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). The JMP produces nationwide, regional and worldwide estimates of progress on WASH in households, schools and properly being care providers.


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