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
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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(link is external), an issue that cuts across development sectors and is an essential component of all USAID activities.

Delivering results

During the first two years of implementation of the U.S. Government Global Water Strategy (Fiscal Years 2018 and 2019), USAID provided $835 million to support water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) activities in 51 countries. Learn more about how USAID is achieving its development goals in the Global Water and Development Report of Water and Sanitation Activities FY 2018/2019, which presents the following key results and data. Over the past two years:

  • 11.6 million people gained access to sustainable water, with 7.9 million gaining access for the first time
  • 10.6 million people gained access to sustainable sanitation, with 10.4 million gaining access for the first time
  • Of these, more than 2.3 million women and girls benefited from sustainable water services, and more than 5.2 million women and girls gained access to sustainable sanitation

Since 2008, USAID has helped 53.7 million people gain sustainable access to water services, and 38 million people gain sustainable access to sanitation services.

Read more on how USAID is making an impact in the WASH sector on GlobalWaters.org.

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:

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Last updated: January 05, 2021

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