World Toilet Day 2013 Declared: United Nations Says 2.5 Billion People Lack Proper Sanitation [VIDEO]

By iScienceTimes Staff on July 27, 2013 11:43 AM EDT

toilet
November 19 will mark World Toilet Day 2013, declared the United Nations. "Sanitation For All" is one of the U.N.'s eight Millennium Development Goals. (Photo: Reuters)

World Toilet Day will be celebrated on November 19, 2013, the United Nations General Assembly has declared. They know you're chuckling about it, but they say it's a very serious matter.

"The amusement and laughter likely to follow the designation of 19 November as 'World Toilet Day' would all be worthwhile if people's attention was drawn to the fact that 2.5 billion people lacked proper sanitation and 1.1 billion were forced to defecate in the open," reads the U.N. press release.

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The U.N. says that while six billion people in the world (out of a total population of 7 billion) have access to a mobile phone, only 4.5 billion people have access toilets or latrines. If everyone in the world had access to a toilet, it's estimated that the lives of 200,000 children could be saved each year.

The purpose of World Toilet Day is to raise awareness about the lack of sanitation in parts of the world and to encourage the policies that increase sanitation access among the poor.

"This new annual observance will go a long way toward raising awareness about the need for all human beings to have access to sanitation," said U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson.

"Sanitation For All" is one of eight Millennium Development Goals adopted by the U.N.," a blueprint of global aims agreed to by all member nations.

"Despite progress toward the Millennium Development Goals, one in three people do not have a basic toilet," Eliasson said. "Almost 2,000 children die every day from preventable diarrhoeal diseases. Poor sanitation and water supply result in economic losses estimated at $260 billion annually in developing countries."

While World Toilet Days have previously been declared by various organizations, World Toilet Day 2013 is the first one officially recognized by the U.N.

Below is a video produced for last year's World Toilet Day, which features a clever logo.

© 2012 iScience Times All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

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