Mr. Speaker, October 15 marks Global Handwashing Day.
Here in Canada, handwashing is an effective way to protect one's health, but the situation in the developing world is similar to what it was here a century ago: some 3.5 million children under the age of five die of pneumonia and chronic diarrhea, deaths that could be prevented if people had access to clean water.
Handwashing is one of the most effective health interventions for women and children living in poverty. It reduces chronic diarrhea by 50% and respiratory diseases by 25%.
Yet the Conservative government dedicates less than 2% of CIDA's $5 billion budget to building basic sanitary facilities.
On behalf of the Canadian Association of Parliamentarians on Population and Development, I call on the federal government to abide by the 2005 Paris Declaration and increase Canadian investment in the Global Sanitation Fund.