Investing in global safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) is one of the most effective and efficient choices we can make for global child health, as well as nutrition, resource conservation, women’s empowerment, and education. For every $1 invested in WASH, $4 is returned in increased economic productivity. Since lack of access to safe WASH keeps people—mostly women and girls—from school and work, this crisis costs countries in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia 5% of their Gross Domestic Product each year.
Just before Congress ended last week, the Water for the World Act (HR 2901) was introduced in the House of Representatives. By amending the Water for the Poor Act of 2005 and responding to problems in USAID’s new Global Water Strategy, Water for the World will make better use of existing Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) funds, strengthen accountability for WASH programs already underway, and ensure the greatest impact on communities worldwide without spending new money or creating new bureaucracy.
Water for the World will:
- Help to ensure WASH remains a political priority and that experts are available to create effective and sustainable WASH programs;
- Help to direct funds to the countries and communities most in need, recognizing evidence that the poorest people benefit most from receiving WASH services;
- Advance best practices of effective aid, such as improved monitoring and evaluation and a focus on leveraging non-Federal partnerships and funds; and
- Improve the strategic approach to international safe water, sanitation and hygiene, by providing smart guidance that builds off USAID’s own strategy, such as requiring transparency in how and why focus countries are selected, the results and challenges of each program, and regular reviews of progress against published metrics.
What can you do?
Your support is critical in helping the Water for the Act become law. There are three easy things you can do right now to help.
Say thank you: If you are on twitter, you can easily thank the Representatives who introduced this bill, just copy and paste the following-
Ask your member of Congress to also support the Water for the World Act [this issue has expired]