Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene

Schoolchildren pick up sachets of oral rehydration salts distributed by USAID/OFDA partner Mercy Corps.
Schoolchildren pick up sachets of oral rehydration salts distributed by USAID/OFDA partner Mercy Corps at a community hygiene promotion and cholera prevention education event near Mirebalais, Haiti.
Kendra Helmer, USAID

Water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) programs represent vital components of USAID Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) responses to rapid-onset disasters and complex emergencies, as disaster-affected populations are more susceptible to illness and death from waterborne and communicable diseases. WASH interventions in emergencies often include promotion of good hygienic practices, construction or repair of latrines, removal of solid waste, and provision of safe, treated water. Activities such as building latrines and establishing waste removal systems can prove even more challenging in areas with high water tables, hard rock sites, and dense populations.

In FY 2014, USAID/OFDA provided more than $137 million for WASH programs in 27 countries. USAID/OFDA also links emergency WASH activities with transition and development programs funded by other USAID offices and incorporates institutional partners—such as local governments—in program planning and implementation to promote the sustainability of water and hygiene-focused projects.

Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Archive

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Last updated: October 16, 2014

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