Progress on drinking water, sanitation and hygiene in schools: Special focus on COVID-19
The WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) produces internationally comparable estimates of progress on drinking water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and is responsible for monitoring the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) targets related to WASH. This report presents updated national, regional and global estimates for drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene in schools for the years 2000–2019, with a special focus on the implications for ensuring student's and school staff's safety during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
The key findings of this report are:
- 818 million children lacked basic handwashing service at their school, including 355 million whose schools had facilities with water but no soap, and 462 million whose schools still had no facilities or no water available for handwashing.
- In the 60 countries at the highest risk of health and humanitarian crisis due to COVID-19, 3 in 4 children lacked a basic handwashing service at their school at the start of the outbreak.
- 1 in 3 schools worldwide had either limited drinking water service or no drinking water service at all.
- In the 60 countries at the highest risk of health and humanitarian crisis due to COVID-19, half of all children lacked basic water service at their school at the start of the outbreak.
- 698 million children lacked basic sanitation service at their school.
As schools begin to reopen, UNICEF and WHO are calling on governments to implement WASH and infection prevention and control measures in schools. These steps will help stop the spread of COVID-19 and keep children safe while also protecting children from other WASH-related diseases, and providing them with a safe and effective learning environment.