USAID Administrator Shah Commemorates 2011 World Water Day

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, March 22, 2011
USAID Press Office

Washington, DC – Dr. Rajiv Shah, Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), released the following statement on the occasion of World Water Day.

Today, USAID marks World Water Day with a renewed commitment to assisting the more than 800 million people around the world without access to clean, safe drinking water, and the more than 2.6 billion people who lack access to improved sanitation.

The impact of water on all aspects of development is undeniable: a safe drinking water supply, sanitation for health, management of water resources, and improvement of water productivity can help change the lives of millions and is critical to US foreign policy priorities.

On behalf of the US government, USAID has been at the forefront of these efforts for decades. In 2010 alone, USAID made it possible for an estimated 2.8 million people to improve their access to safe drinking water and improved sanitation.

These efforts are part of a new water development strategy being crafted by USAID that will ensure we are focusing our efforts in a way that allows America's contributions to communities around the world to have the greatest impact.

World Water Day reminds us of how many around the world struggle to meet basic needs. But it also reminds us how much the American people contribute every day to improving the lives of millions.

  • In Haiti, USAID taught women proper chlorination techniques for household water and improved practices for water storage, as well as techniques to reduce the risk their families face to cholera. In all, USAID provided more than $40 million for humanitarian response to the cholera outbreak during 2010 and 2011.
  • In India, USAID is working with the government to support community partnerships to promote hygiene and sanitation among the poorest communities.
  • In Indonesia, USAID is expanding access to water and sanitation services for an estimated 2 million people and improved sanitation for more than 200,000.
  • In Kenya, USAID is helping people afford house connections to reliable water supplies through access to loans from micro-finance institutions.

For more information about USAID's programs, please visit:

Last updated: August 03, 2017

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