Water is essential to all life on Earth. Yet, nearly 800 million people lack dependable access to clean water and about 2.5 billion people lack access to modern sanitation, putting them at risk of disease. Poor water quality leads 2 million children to die every year from preventable diarrheal disease. And climate change is putting global water resources under enormous pressure, making reliable access to safe water a growing challenge and fueling competition for resources.
While issues of water and sanitation are often looked at in isolation, they are directly tied to issues of food security, global health and climate change.
That’s why we are committed to integrating a focus on water across our agriculture, health and climate work by:
- Expanding access to water supply and sanitation to promote better hygiene and fight preventable disease, especially to vulnerable communities;
- Increasing water productivity in agriculture and industry to boost output while conserving a precious resource;
- Improving water resource management and reforming governance and regulations to equitably share access and defuse competition; and
- Strengthening resilience and response to disasters in order to help countries adapt to a changing climate.
We have a long history of delivering results:
- We've brought safe water and sanitation to more than 50 million people, while assisting governments and private firms to plan, manage and distribute water more equitably and affordably.
- In Afghanistan, we’ve brought 25,000 acres of farmland under improved irrigation, bringing new livelihoods, food security, and other benefits to more than 600,000 families.
- In Pakistan, we providing clean water to more than 2 million victims of devastating floods in 2011.
- Across Ethiopia, Malawi, Nigeria and Tanzania, we’ve helped 1 million people living with HIV access clean water.
Our new Water and Development Strategy steers USAID’s water programs toward key themes consistent with two of the most important ways we rely on water: water for health and water for food. It is our hope that improvements in WASH programs, and sound management and use of water for food security will save lives and advance development.
Global Waters Magazine — Recent Food Security Features
The Future of Food: Adapting Millions to Climate Change (December 2012)
The 'Benefits of the Bush' in Senegal (August 2012)
Change in the Palms of Their Hands (June 2012)
Last updated: October 28, 2013