For the second straight year, International Medical Corps has partnered with Starbucks and Ethos Water to host ‘Walks for Water’ in New York City and Los Angeles, in commemoration of World Water Day on March 22nd. Inspired by the nearly five-mile journey made by women and children every day to find clean water, these events bring concerned organizations and individuals together to raise awareness and support for the more than 1 billion people worldwide who do not have access to safe drinking water.
Designated by the U.N. in 1992, World Water Day was created to draw international attention to one of the largest public health issues in the world today – the lack of safe drinking water and sanitation services. Approximately 20 percent of the global population does not have access to clean drinking water and more than 2.6 billion lack sanitation services. As a result, millions die each year, including almost 4,500 children every day as a result of waterborne illnesses.
“Without clean, safe drinking water, millions of children die each year from diarrheal diseases and parasitic infections,” said Stephen Tomlin, Vice President of Program, Policy and Planning for International Medical Corps. “The provision of potable drinking water and good sanitation, coupled with outreach initiatives that improve hygiene practices make so much difference. They are crucial to maintaining good health and helping populations, even in the poorest countries, to thrive.”
In addition to its alarming impact on public health, the world water crisis also prevents many children from receiving an education because they must travel great distances to find water.
To participate in the World Water Day events scheduled nationwide, online registration for New York City, Santa Monica, and other cities can be completed at the official Walk for Water Web site at http://www.worldwaterday.net. For those unable to attend an event, the website also offers the opportunity to become a virtual walker, with registered names placed in a symbolic water jug and carried by a local participant at one of the Walks for Water. The events will feature a variety of guest speakers, including actress and activist Melissa Fitzgerald, who will speak on behalf of International Medical Corps at the Santa Monica walk.
To further its mission to alleviate suffering and enhance public health across the globe, International Medical Corps incorporates water and sanitation into its community-based humanitarian efforts. Building off of its health care services and training programs, International Medical Corps makes clean water available to the world’s most water-stressed communities by constructing wells, providing separate water sources for livestock, installing irrigation systems, creating waste management systems, and teaching safe hygiene. Clean water is also a key component of its emergency response efforts, as International Medical Corps provides survivors of natural and man-made disasters with fresh water and water storage tanks.
By integrating clean water and sanitation into its overall health programs, International Medical Corps helps to prevent the spread of infectious diseases like malaria, typhoid, and cholera so that a solid foundation for health and well-being can be not only established, but maintained among underserved, devastated communities worldwide. To help International Medical Corps alleviate the world water crisis and promote global health, you can make a donation by clicking here.