Sanitation involves the provision of toilets as well as activities, often referred to as environmental sanitation, such as drainage, solid waste and vector control.

The IFRC calls on governments, donors, and communities to get the balance right between action on sanitation and on water. Sanitation activities should be at least as well funded as water supply, and we believe this balance in funding can be achieved by 2030 so that the next global push for universal access to water and sanitation will focus equally on both aspects.

Guidelines and tools​

Red Cross Red Crescent Guidelines and Tools

Getting the Balance Right: IFRC sanitation advocacy report

Communities in rural areas and urban settlements must be empowered to increase their resilience through access to safe water, improved sanitation and effective hygiene promotion.
• No one government, donor or community can do this alone, so strategic partnerships must be established and nurtured.
• As auxiliaries to their governments, national Red Cross and Red Crescent societies must bridge the gap between government and communities

Standard emergency latrine or bathing area designs are often not appropriate for people who menstruate, nor accessible to those with disabilities. To contribute to solving this problem, the IFRC, Lebanese Red Cross, British Red Cross and Arup implemented a project to design and pilot MHM friendly and accessible emergency WASH facilities. This work was supported by Elhra’s Humanitarian Innovation Fund (HIF).

Adaptable designs for i) a raised latrine block, ii) bathing block, and iii) trench latrine, including construction drawings, bill of quantities, and step-by-step instructions are available here:

The IFRC, in consortium with WASTE and Oxfam GB, has developed a number of innovations for sanitation in difficult settings.  Learn more at:

External Guidelines and tools

Sanitation guidelines and tools

Learning resources​

Red Cross Red Crescent Learning resources

Rapid Latrines
Haiti Sanitation Experience
Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS)

External Learning resources

Handbook on Community-Led Total Sanitation A handbook on Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) to enable communities to analyse their sanitation conditions and collectively understand the impact of open defecation on public health and their environment.
Related Links

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