Water and Sanitation

  • Learn about USAID’s Strategic Approach to WASH and COVID-19 Response.

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  • Visit the Global Waters website for the latest water sector stories, events, and news.

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  • Read the latest USAID Global Water and Development Report.

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  • 2017 U.S. Global Water Strategy

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Olympic Swimmers Take a Stand for Safe Water
Olympic Swimmers Take a Stand for Safe Water
Water & Wastewater Sector Support Project in Egypt
Water & Wastewater Sector Support Project in Egypt
Water Matters
Water Matters
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Globally, nearly three in ten people lack access to safe drinking water in their homes, 3 billion lack basic handwashing facilities, and about six in ten people lack access to proper sanitation, contributing to disease and hampering economic growth. Lack of water services and increasing competition among water users often exacerbate existing tensions and can lead to communities’ and nations’ loss of resilience, increased fragility, and even outright conflict. Access to safe drinking water and sanitation, along with adequate hygiene practices and the ability to effectively manage water resources, can profoundly shape a nation’s path to stability, economic prosperity, and self-reliance.

USAID helps partner countries plan, finance, and deliver safe water and sanitation services for the neediest, while sustainably managing water resources. By 2022, the Agency seeks to provide 15 million people with sustainable access to safe drinking water services and 8 million people with sustainable access to sanitation services.

USAID will program, monitor, and report activities and outcomes across four development results (DR) to advance the Agency goal and the Strategy:

  1. Strengthen Sector Governance and Financing 
  2. Increase Sustainable Access and Use of Sanitation and Practice of Key Hygiene Behaviors 
  3. Increase Sustainable Access to Safe Drinking Water
  4. Improve Management of Water Resources

USAID designs all of these DRs to achieve results in Gender Equality & Empowerment, an issue that cuts across development sectors and is an essential component of all USAID activities.

Delivering results

The FY 2017 Global Water and Development Report of Water and Sanitation Activities examines USAID programming through the lens of its new areas of focus and opportunity, takes a closer look at USAID’s support for partner countries on their journeys to self-reliance, and provides a country breakdown of WASH and water funding.

Key results and data include:

  • As a result of USAID's support from FY 2008 to FY 2017, 42 million people received sustainable access to an improved water supply, and 27.2 million people received improved access to sanitation facilities.
  • In FY 2017, more than 3.6 million people received sustainable access to improved water services, and 3.2 million people received improved access to sanitation services.
  • In FY 2017, USAID provided more than $449.6 million to support water and sanitation efforts in 41 countries and regions, including 12 high-priority countries.

Read more on how USAID is delivering results in the WASH and water sector.

Stay Up to Date

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.

Globalwaters.org provides users with useful information, stories, and assets:

  • USAID program evaluations documenting WASH projects in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Middle East
  • A Library featuring technical reports, toolkits, implementation guides, and more
  • Resources such as blog posts, webinars, events, and other updates from the WASH sector
  • USAID in the News covering the latest global news stories of USAID's water work
  • Multimedia resources highlighting the on-the-ground impacts of USAID’s WASH investments, including photo essays, podcasts, videos, and more.

To learn more, read

Last updated: June 17, 2020

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