The International Life Saving Federation (ILS) has been granted by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2010 with the status of "International Organisation with Official Relations with the WHO" for its role and expertise in global drowning prevention. The WHO Executive Board confirmed this relationship on 23 January 2010, after many years of collaborative projects with ILS.
This recognition enhances the ability of WHO and ILS to prevent drowning. The 195 WHO member nations and the over 130 ILS Member Federations will collaborate to advance the science and implementation of drowning prevention globally. It is estimated that more than 1.2 million people die from drowning each year. This is more than 3,200 persons per day and two persons per minute. Many more millions are directly or indirectly affected by drowning and water related injury. This tragic and preventable burden is disproportionately impacts children in low income nations. The International Life Saving Federation is the world authority in the global effort to prevent drowning. WHO is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system. It is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries and monitoring and assessing health trends.