In an effort to achieve a better and more sustainable future for everyone, in 2015 the United Nations set up 17 interlinked, Sustainable Development Goals, to be reached by the year 2030.
Number 6 on the list is the need to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. That’s because safe drinking water and good sanitation is fundamental to healthy lives and prosperous communities for all.
Yet, according to the Joint Monitoring Program, a project of the World Health Organization and UNICEF, the rate of accessibility to clean water is expanding too slowly. Today, nearly two billion people, will most likely still lack access to even basic water by 2030.
The United States, via the U.S. Agency for International Development, or USAID, committed to work with its partner governments and organizations to help close the gap between where we are and where we should be if we are to reach the goal of clean water and sanitation for everyone by 2030. The majority of those 2 billion people who are likely to be left behind without even basic water access live in just 21 countries.
On November 15, USAID released its annual list of high-priority countries for safe and resilient water, sanitation, and hygiene assistance for Fiscal Year 2022.
Once areas most in need of investment to improve access to clean water and sanitation are identified within each high-priority country, USAID will work with governments, civil society, faith-based organizations, and the private sector to improve water security and resilience.
This year’s High-Priority countries are the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Nepal, Ghana, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, Mozambique, the Philippines, Rwanda, Senegal, South Sudan, Uganda, Zambia, and Tanzania. Also included are the strategic-priority countries and regions of Jordan and Lebanon, and the West Bank and Gaza.
This prioritization and designation is part of the U.S. government’s Global Water Strategy. In the four years since the 2017 Global Water Strategy was first announced, USAID’s financial assistance has helped 15.5 million people around the world gain access to sustainable drinking water and 14.8 million people gain access to sustainable sanitation.
Safe drinking water is fundamental to healthy lives and prosperous communities. Investments in access to clean water and sanitation can have indisputable economic and public health benefits. The United States is ready to help.