Switzerland contributes record CHF 16 million to tackle global sanitation, hygiene and menstrual health crisis

By deploying smart, innovative financing to activate sanitation economies, we can deliver essential services, and important social and economic benefits, to people and communities. Photograph: Jason Florio/SHF archives©

Funds to be leveraged by the SHF to catalyze national sanitation economies in Africa and Asia


BERN/GENEVA, 23 MARCH 2023 - The UN’s Sanitation and Hygiene Fund (SHF) welcomes a record CHF 16 million contribution from Switzerland toward its efforts to catalyze sanitation economies to tackle the global sanitation, hygiene and menstrual health crisis. The contribution comes after extensive due diligence, and will support the scaling up of innovative sanitation, hygiene and menstrual health projects in Africa and Asia over 2023 to 2025.

In 2020, 3.6 billion people lacked safely managed sanitation services and under the current trajectory, universal access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene has no chance of being achieved by 2030 as outlined in the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6.2. Furthermore, menstrual health and hygiene has been woefully overlooked and is still not yet seen as sufficiently important to tackle, leaving millions of women unable to manage their menstrual health safely. SHF approaches this challenge through the lens of the sanitation economy to attract new and innovative finance to the sanitation economy.

Working globally and with an initial footprint in Africa, SHF mobilizes, and leverages, financial resources to fund a pipeline of investable propositions for sustainable sanitation economies to drive national sanitation targets and help women gain greater economic hold. Through the use of its grant funding to incentivize investment, SHF aims to unlock the resources of multilateral and national development banks, finance institutions and governments to enable the private sector to build a lasting national sanitation economy and menstrual hygiene marketplace ecosystems. 

“We are at a crossroads for development finance with the possibility to transform how development has worked thus far, focusing henceforth on autonomy for countries, innovation and private sector collaboration and entrepreneurship. We are deeply grateful to the country and people of Switzerland for supporting our ambition to activate national sanitation economies and deliver vital sanitation, hygiene and menstrual health services with transparency and accountability as entrusted to us by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation ,” said Dominic O’Neill, Executive Director, SHF. 

The contribution from Switzerland will be allocated toward SHF activities in Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Benin, and Sierra Leone. 



For further information, please contact:

Rucha Naware, Communications Specialist, Sanitation and Hygiene Fund: rucha.naware@shfund.org