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A growing body of evidence indicates that access to safe drinking-water, sanitation, and hygiene has an important positive impacton nutrition. People who suffer from food and nutrition insecurity are often the same who lack access to water, sanitation and hygiene, leaving them in extremely vulnerable situations and reducing their chances of living healthy and productive lives. One example is the link between open defecation and stunting. Diarrhoea accounts for 9 per cent of the deaths of children under 5 years old each year and is essentially a faecal-oral disease, where germs are ingested due to contact with infected faeces. Where rates of toilet or latrines use are low, rates of diarrhoea tend to be high. Multiple episodes of diarrhoea permanently alter the gut and prevent the absorption of essential nutrients, increasing the risk of not only stunting or death, but of long-term consequences on cognitive and social abilities, school performance and work productivity in adulthood.

To deliver not only SDG6, but SDG2 –End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture– the two fields need to use sustainable and integrated ways of working.

SWA and the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement have joined efforts to support governments and their partners to develop policies and programmes that integrate the two sectors within national policies and plans. Nutrition policies and plans should include specific objectives and interventions of water, sanitation and hygiene. Likewise, inclusion of the right nutrition priorities and incentives in water, sanitation and hygiene policies will foster and support multiplication of nutrition initiatives. Many countries, such as Cambodia, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Nepal are already making progress on this front.

Other joint areas of engagement between SWA and SUN include joint advocacy (see for instance the joint event at the UN General Assembly); exchange of good practices; and research and learning.

This partnership of partnerships between SWA and SUN soon expanded to other like-minded multi-stakeholders organizations in other sectors. This was how the Partnership Playbook was born-aset of ten principles developed by five partnerships - Every Woman Every Child, the SUN Movement, Zero Hunger Challenge, Global Partnership for Education and SWA-which embody the spirit of working in partnership and ensuring that no one is left behind. The Playbook’sprinciples are inspired by the SWA Guiding Principles.

Malnutrition underlies 45 per cent of deaths in children under 5 years of age.

Diarrhoeal disease is the second leading cause of death in children under five years old. It is both preventable and treatable, killing around 525 000 children under five each year.

The first 1,000 days of a child’s life are critical in foetal and child development because children are especially vulnerable to the adverse and chronic effects of intestinal diseases brought on in part by poor water and sanitation.

When children are undernourished, they have lowered resistance to infection and are more likely to die from diarrheal diseases and respiratory infections.

Most cases of child diarrhoeacan be traced back to unsafe drinking water, foods contaminated in the home, or faecal contamination from poultry and livestock.

Gerda Verburg

Let’s make the SWA 2019 Sector Ministers’ Meeting the forum where WASH and Nutrition sectors join forces & funding to transform the future so every single child, woman and man cannot only survive, but thrive!

Coordinator of the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement and Assistant Secretary-General
H.E. Lilianne Ploumen

We need to take a leap forward if we are to deliver on the 2030 Agenda, going beyond the traditional silos to work across sectors will be essential. This new Global Partnership Initiative and its Partnership Playbook provides the commitment and guidance we need to strengthen multi-stakeholder partnerships and ensure alignment with national priorities. With shared principles that encourage mutual respect, transparency and accountability, we can create better partnerships for impact.

co-chair of the GPEDC and Netherlands Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation
Christine Kintu

When we work around an issue, we have to identify those who are working in that same area and work towards shared goals.

Permanent Secretary, Office of the Prime Minister, Uganda
David Nabarro

Partnering as a way of working and as a means of implementation, is at the heart of this agenda.

Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Climate