More than 11 million people from Syria have been forced to flee their homes, approximately half of them children. Since 2012, Caritas Switzerland has provided emergency relief and long-term support totalling 18 million Swiss francs in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and northern Iraq.
Access to water is a human right. Caritas Switzerland recognises this and enables disadvantaged people to get access to drinking and service water. This involves building wells and sanitary installations, establishing usage rights and raising awareness.
People need water to survive. We drink water, we use it for hygienic purposes, we give it to our livestock and use it to irrigate the fields, we use large quantities of it in industry, we produce energy with it and transport our goods on it. Because water is vital to human survival, access to sufficient and clean water is a human right. And yet,
663 million people still have no access to clean water,
a quarter of all deaths in developing countries are due to contaminated water,
already, conflicts around this scarce resource are emerging across the globe,
due to climate change, rain no longer falls regularly and with the same intensity. Droughts and floods are becoming common occurrences.
Just as the use and availability of water varies, so the Caritas water projects also differ accordingly. Springs are tapped, wells drilled, dams and sanitary installations built. Caritas is involved in awareness-raising work on water use and hygiene, establishes rules for water utilisation rights and mitigates the worst impacts of disasters by building flood protection dams and taking protective measures against soil erosion. And true to its commitment to helping people to help themselves, Caritas brings together local government representatives, village water committees and craftsmen so they can solve their problems themselves.