Simavi presents golden roll of toilet paper to Dutch Ministry

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Last week, Simavi presented a golden roll of toilet paper to Kitty van der Heijden of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs in The Hague. The intention was to stimulate the Dutch government to promote WASH for everyone during the United Nations Conference of September 25th.

The Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Lilianne Ploumen will be participating in a special United Nations Conference in New York City on 25 September 2013. The purpose of the Conference will be to discuss global development policy after the deadline for the Millennium Development Goals passes in 2015. Today the Lower House of the Dutch Parliament held a debate on the Dutch vision for the future global development policy.

‘It is of the utmost importance during this UN Conference that the Netherlands calls for the investment of time and energy in ensuring¬†universal¬†access to water and toilets. Focus on access to toilets is particularly important. Toilets need to be available not only at workplaces and schools but also in hospitals and health clinics. Only by ensuring universal access to safe drinking water, toilets, and hygiene will it be possible to guarantee good health and thereby to eliminate extreme poverty,’ says Ariette Brouwer, Simavi’s CEO.

One thousand rolls of toilet paper

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Surrounded by 1,000 rolls of toilet paper, Kitty van der Heijden, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affair’s Ambassador for Sustainable Development, received the golden roll of toilet paper from the CEO of Simavi, Ariette Brouwer. Each roll of toilet paper represented 2.5 million people without access to toilets. Around the world 2.5 billion people have no access to toilets. Under these conditions, contagious diseases like cholera and those causing diarrhoea can spread incredibly quickly. Each day more than 4,000 young children die as a result of water-related diseases.

Petition

During this event, Simavi also presented a petition on behalf of the WASH Alliance. This petition had been signed by more than 200,000 people in countries in Africa and Asia where the WASH Alliance is active. The petition asks that water, sanitation, and hygiene be given central importance in global development policy even after 2015. The 200,000 signatures are part of the one million signatures collected worldwide by the international End Water Poverty network, a partner of Simavi and the WASH Alliance. These signatures will be offered to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon during the UN Conference on the post-2015 development agenda.