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A Review of the Evidence Base for WASH interventions in Emergency Responses

Inadequate sanitation, inadequate water supplies and poor hygiene are critical determinants for survival of victims of natural disasters and conflict situations, especially in the initial stages of a disaster. Most recently hygiene promotion has taken increasingly greater predominance as an integral part of relief agency operations. However, these experiences are diverse and this has led to questions about which type of hygiene promotion activity is most effective and how. The aim of the assignment was to review and assess the existing evidence that supports WASH interventions in the emergency context - namely those related to water supply, sanitation and hygiene promotion. On the whole, these studeies pronounce hygiene promotion as the most favorable intervention in terms of its effectiveness to reduce the incidence of diarrheal disease. The second most favorable is treatment of water at point of use, followed by sanitation and finally water supply systems with treatment prior to distribution.

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