WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Rajiv Shah, joined members of Congress—Senator Richard Durbin, Senator Chris Coons, Congressman Earl Blumenauer and Congressman Ted Poe—to release the U.S. Government’s first Water and Development Strategy. This strategy recognizes the vital role water plays in ensuring the health and economic well-being of people around the world. In addition, it sets out to represent a fundamental shift at our Agency toward a new model of development—defined by public and private partnerships, use of new technology, and emphasis long-term results.
Globally, over 780 million people lack access to safe drinking water and 2.5 billion people lack access to sanitation. Projections are that by 2025, two-thirds of the world’s population could be living under severe water stress conditions.
“We will achieve greater impact by partnering with outside organizations and businesses that leverage innovative approaches and new technologies. This approach will also emphasize sustainability by building local capacities for operations, maintenance, and monitoring,” said Administrator Shah.
USAID’s Water and Development Strategy elevates the importance and visibility of water as a development priority within the Agency and highlights its importance in meeting the development imperatives to improve health and increase food security. The Strategy will address global water-related development needs by providing a clear understanding of USAID’s approach to water programming, emphasizing how sustainable use of water is critical to saving lives. To achieve this goal, the Strategy sets two strategic objectives:
- Water for Health – Improve health outcomes through the provision of sustainable Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH).
- Water for Food – Manage water for agriculture sustainably and more productively to enhance food security.
“This new U.S. Water and Development Strategy will help lift poor people around the world out of conflict and poverty. It is smart, strategic and builds on our past successes using new breakthroughs in science and technology,” Senator Durbin said. “It will save water and it will save lives. USAID’s new plan will bring water and sanitation—the most basic of human needs—to millions of people around the globe, dousing the flames of global poverty, disease and conflict.”
Improving human health and welfare, having adequate nutrition to thrive, and maintaining the sustainability of natural systems requires a coordinated global response to the challenges of water and sanitation access for present and future generations. This Strategy reflects the commitment of the U.S. government to work in partnership with the global community to meet these challenges.
This press release originally appeared on the USAID website. View the strategy from USAID.