WASHINGTON, March 23 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- PSI Ambassador, actress and singer/songwriter Mandy Moore joined a coalition of nearly 30 organizations and dozens of others who met with Members of Congress today for a day of advocacy on Capitol Hill. The events -- which included a briefing to Congress, an attempt to form the world's longest toilet queue and a visit with Senator John Kerry, Congressman Jim McGovern and students from Oyster-Adams Bilingual School -- were focused on raising awareness of the global water crisis and encouraging greater action by the U.S. government to ensure access to safe, clean water and improved sanitation in the developing world.
Around the globe, one out of every six people lacks safe drinking water and two out of every five people lack adequate sanitation. In turn, the second leading cause of child death and the most common cause of illness in the world today is diarrhea caused by dirty drinking water or unsanitary conditions.
"Last year, my eyes were opened to the problems caused by a lack of safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene," said Moore, who traveled to Southern Sudan last May with the global health organization PSI (Population Services International). "Here on Capitol Hill, it's hard for us to imagine what it's like to face illness every time we're thirsty but it's a reality in Southern Sudan. It is an overwhelmingly tragic situation but the good news is we can do something about it."
In a briefing to members of Congress, Moore and representatives from Global Water Challenge, P&G's Children's Safe Drinking Water Program, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Bureau for Global Health, Jhpeigo, and the Waterborne Diseases Prevention Branch of the United States Centers for Disease Control discussed how investments in water, sanitation and hygiene projects contribute to overall gains in health and, by extension, development. For every dollar invested in water and sanitation, it is estimated that another eight dollars is returned in increased productivity and decreased health care costs.
Shortly after the briefing, Moore was expected to join students from Oyster-Adams Bilingual School in an attempt to form the world's longest toilet queue – part of a global effort to raise awareness around the need for safe water and improved sanitation. Moore and the students would later present Senator Kerry and Representative McGovern with letters on the global water crisis, highlighting the need to change the unacceptable "status quo" of unreliable access to safe water and sanitation. Moore was also expected to meet with Members of Congress, including Rep. Earl Blumenauer, to discuss this critical issue, and she handed out free copies of National Geographic's April Fresh Water Issue, which is being offered as a free download from March 22 to April 2 in honor of World Water Day. (For a free download visit: www.nationalgeographic.com/freshwater)
PSI is a leading global health organization with programs targeting malaria, child survival, HIV and reproductive health. Working in partnership within the public and private sectors, and harnessing the power of markets, PSI provides life-saving products, clinical services and behavior change communications that empower the world's most vulnerable populations to lead healthier lives. www.psi.org
About the World Water Day 2010 Coalition of organizations:
A diverse coalition of water, sanitation, hygiene and health organizations has come together for World Water Day 2010. Its goal is to raise awareness and call for stronger commitments and more robust action to ensure universal access to safe drinking water and sanitation everywhere they are needed. The global water crisis can be solved with solutions available today. The 2010 coalition includes Action Against Hunger, AED, Africare, CARE, Catholic Relief Services, charity: water, Church World Service, Earth Day Network, Global Water, Global Water Challenge, H2O for Life, InterAction, Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy, Millennium Water Alliance, Natural Resources Defense Council, ONE, PATH, P&G Children's Safe Drinking Water Program, Project Concern International, PSI, US Coalition for Child Survival, WaterAid, Water.org, Water Advocates, Water and Sanitation Program, Water For People, the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council and World Vision.
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