The US Agency for International Development (USAID) and Procter & Gamble (P&G) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to protect the lives of women and children in Burma and to develop a multi-year, multi-programme Global Development Alliance that will invest at least $2 million over the first two years to provide access to 200 million liters of clean drinking water, promote better hygiene behaviours, and build capability linked to improvements in delivery of Maternal and Child Health (MCH) services.
A press release issued on May 28, 2013 stated that, this partnership builds on the cooperation between the United States and the government of Burma to improve health and advance prosperity for the people of Burma, in addition, to building on the USAID’s commitment to the Millennium Development Goals and the Global Child Survival Call to Action aimed at reducing maternal and child mortality rates by ending preventable child deaths and improving the lives of women and children worldwide.
Globally, 2,000 children die every day of diarrhea illnesses caused by unsafe water, which is more than the deaths caused by HIV/AIDS and malaria combined. In Burma, despite increased access to improved drinking water sources between 1990 and 2004, large parts of the population remain vulnerable to diarrhea diseases. During natural disasters such as cyclones, to which Burma is particularly prone, the threat of diarrhea disease outbreaks increase significantly. This partnership will scale up an existing and proven water purification innovation – the P&G Purifier of Water – to significantly reduce the incidence of deaths caused by unsafe water, the release said.
Dr. Greg Allgood, Founder and Director of the P&G Children’s Safe Drinking Water programme, said “P&G is excited to invest in the future of Burma. We have begun this work by partnering with USAID to provide access to clean drinking water throughout the country with our P&G purifier of water packets. This social investment in a healthier, more prosperous Burma is part of our global effort to save one life every hour.”
By Dorcas Appiah