Safe drinking water and improved sanitation are fundamental to healthy lives and prosperous communities. Every person needs 20 to 40 liters of freshwater per day just for drinking, cooking, and basic sanitation needs. Yet over 750 million people world-wide do not have access to safe, clean drinking water, and 2.5 billion people still lack access to improved sanitation. As a result, many people become sick, some lives are shortened, and some die. Every year, 1.4 million children, most of them under the age of 5, die as a direct result of poor sanitation and lack of access to safe drinking water.
That is why the United States invests hundreds of millions of dollars in water sector activities around the world. Through the United States Agency for International Development, or USAID, and the Millennium Challenge Corporation, the United States government undertakes numerous programs to expand access to safe drinking water and sanitation for those in need, as well as to make more efficient the use of water for food production and economic growth, and work for more sustainable management of watersheds and ecosystems.
Most recently, USAID joined the Sanitation and Water for All Partnership, or SWA. This is a global partnership that works toward achieving universal and sustainable access to sanitation and drinking water for all by bringing together governments, donors, civil society organizations and development partners to ensure that all people have access to basic sanitation and drinking water.
USAID and the U.S. Department of State will together invest a total of 1 million dollars to the National Planning for Results Initiative, which promotes national planning efforts related to sanitation and water.
"The United States Government considers sanitation and water and our related partnering activities to be a critical component of our overall international development assistance effort," said USAID Administrator, Dr. Rajiv Shah. "We look forward to maximizing the potential of this partnership, which brings together such a range of tools, experience, and approaches.
“Working together, we can not only reach full coverage, but we can also do it in the most effective, efficient, and collaborative way."