Global Access to Clean Drinking Water and Sanitation: U.S. and International Programs [September 10, 2012]   [open pdf - 1MB]

"According to a 2012 report released by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), roughly 780 million people around the world lack access to clean drinking water and an estimated 2.5 billion people (roughly 40% of the world's population) are without access to safe sanitation facilities. The United States has long supported efforts to improve global access to clean water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH). In 2000, for example, the United States signed on to the Millennium Development Goals, one of which includes a target to halve the proportion of people without access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation by 2015. In 2002, the United States also participated in the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development, which emphasized the need to address limited access to clean water and sanitation among the world's poor. The 109th Congress enacted legislation to advance these global goals through the Senator Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act of 2005 (P.L. [Public Law] 109-121 [Water for the Poor Act]). In March 2012, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) announced that it had joined the Sanitation and Water for All partnership--a coalition of governments, donors, civil society and development groups committed to advancing sustainable access to clean drinking water and sanitation."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R42717
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