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New report: Improving nutrition outcomes with better water, sanitation and hygiene

  |   SUN Donor Network, SUN UN Network

Impoving nutrition outcomes with better water, sanitation and hygiene REPORT_001On 17 October 2015, on the occasion of World Toilet Day, the World Health Organisation (WHO), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), launched a new report entitled, Improving Nutrition Outcomes With Better Water, Sanitation and Hygiene: Practical Solutions for Policies and Programmes.

The report recognises that proven, simple interventions exist to combat undernutrition, such as exclusive breastfeeding, appropriate complementary feeding practices, micronutrient supplementation where needed, handwashing with soap, and use of hygienic latrines or toilets. However, given the complexity of factors that cause undernutrition, especially lack of access to water and sanitation and poor hygiene, no single intervention alone will achieve effective or lasting results. Effectively and sustainably improving nutrition outcomes requires a coordinated, multisectoral approach among the health, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and agricultural sectors and strong community engagement.

The report provides an overview of the evidence of nutrition gains that can be achieved with improved WASH, a description of key WASH practices, and practical knowledge and guidance on how to integrate WASH into nutrition programmes, including important monitoring and evaluation (M&E) aspects. The document concludes by providing a suite of case-studies and lessons learned in integrating WASH with nutrition efforts.

Learn more: World Toilet Day 

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