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 slow- and rapid-onset disasters and complex emergencies, which render populations more susceptible to illness and death from waterborne and communicable diseases.

In Fiscal Year 2017, USAID/OFDA provided nearly $353 million to support WASH programs in more than 40 countries.

WASH interventions in emergencies often include construction or repair of latrines, hygiene support, solid waste removal, and the provision of safe drinking water.

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 hygienefocused projects. In addition, USAID/OFDA support to operational research enabled the development and testing of improved emergency sanitation options for challenging environments, such as densely populated or flood-prone areas. Other research partners explored methods to improve linkages between markets and emergency WASH responders, with pilots in pre-crisis DRR, chronic, and rapid response contexts.

Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Archive

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Last updated: January 31, 2018

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