Improving water security is essential to blunt the worst impacts of climate change.

Read More

USAID’s Vision for Water Security

Reliable access to safe water and sanitation saves lives, improves livelihoods, and makes communities more resilient. Investments in water security, sanitation and hygiene are critical for progress in nearly all aspects of global development. Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, more people have access to safe drinking water, safely managed sanitation services, and basic hygiene services than ever before.

Global Progress and Possibility

  • Three in four people have access to safe drinking water in their homes

  • One in two people has access to safely managed sanitation services

  • Two in three people have basic hygiene services (including soap and water at home)

  • USAID works with governments, other local stakeholders, and partners to make it possible to achieve universal access by 2030.

Statistics based on JMP/WHO 2020 WASH data and World Bank’s 2020 world population data.

USAID helps partner countries plan, finance, and deliver safe water and sanitation services for the neediest, while sustainably managing water resources. In support of the White House Action Plan on Global Water Security and the U.S. Government Global Water Strategy, USAID will program, monitor, and report activities and outcomes across the strategy’s four strategic objectives to strengthen water and sanitation sector governance, finance, institutions, and markets; increase equitable access to safe, sustainable, and climate-resilient water and sanitation services and adoption of key hygiene behaviors; improve climate-resilient conservation and management of freshwater resources and associated ecosystems; and anticipate and reduce conflict and fragility related to water.

USAID helps partner countries plan, finance, and deliver safe water and sanitation services for the neediest, while sustainably managing water resources. In support of the U.S. Government Global Water Strategy and USAID’s Water and Development Plan under the strategy, USAID will program, monitor, and report activities and outcomes across four development results: 

  1. Strengthen sector governance and financing (link is external)

  2. Increase sustainable access and use of sanitation and practice of key hygiene behaviors (link is external)

  3. Increase Sustainable Access to Safe Drinking Water (link is external)

  4. Improve Management of Water Resources (link is external)

Delivering results

In FY 2020, USAID provided $450 million to support water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) activities in 41 countries. As a result: 

  • USAID mobilized more than $216 million outside of U.S. taxpayer funding. 

  • USAID strengthened 289 water and sanitation institutions. 

  • 3.9 million people gained access to sustainable water service, with 68 percent of those gaining access for the first time.

  • 4.1 million people gained access to sustainable sanitation service, with 90 percent of those gaining access for the first time.

  • Women and girls made up 51 percent of those who gained access to sustainable water and sanitation services.

Since 2008, USAID has helped 59.5 million people gain sustainable access to water services, and 44.6 million people gain sustainable access to sanitation services.

Learn more about how USAID is achieving its development goals in the 2020 Global Water and Development Report of Water and Sanitation Activities (link is external) and explore how USAID is delivering results around the world in an interactive map. 

Learn More

To better serve USAID partners, staff, and members of the broader WASH and development community, the USAID Water Team supports GlobalWaters.org, an online knowledge-sharing platform for disseminating best practices, lessons learned, and the latest research on USAID’s water and sanitation programs.

On GlobalWaters.org (all links are external) users can find:

Connect with us

Sector Overview

Share This Page