Worldwide: Lack of Basic Sanitation, Child Deaths, and Economic Loss
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that over 525,000 children under the age of five die of diarrheal disease every year. Approximately 58% of these deaths are due to inadequate water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH). Although use of basic sanitation has increased since 2000, 2.3 billion people still lack this essential service. The economic losses from poor WASH in middle and low income countries are $260 billion annually. According to WHO, every dollar invested in sanitation generates $5.5 dollars in return through reduced health care costs, increased worker productivity, and decreased mortality.