United States Agency for International Development
October 11, 2022
Today, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), along with the Department of State, launched the 2022-2027 U.S. Global Water Strategy(link is external). The Strategy will help guide U.S. government efforts over the next five years to advance health, prosperity, stability, and resilience through improved water resources management and increased access to safe drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene. The Strategy is a primary vehicle for implementing the White House Action Plan on Global Water Security and is born of the longstanding bipartisan vision of a water-secure world laid out in the Senator Paul Simon Water for the World Act of 2014. Fourteen Agency-specific plans from across the Federal government bolster the Strategy and bring together the full force of the U.S. government’s tools, expertise, and resources to address the global water crisis.
The revised Global Water Strategy comes at a time when the world is grappling with multiple crises linked to water – from the drought crippling the Horn of Africa, to the floods that left one-third of Pakistan underwater, to the women and girls that continue to be left out of school and the workforce due to bearing the burden of nearly two billion people still lacking access to drinking water and sanitation. Fittingly, the global community is preparing to assess how far we’ve come on global water security, and how far we still have to go. In March 2023, the United Nations General Assembly will convene its first conference on water since 1977. In the intervening 45 years, the world has changed drastically and faces new threats on a scale unlike any we have seen before. The Global Water Strategy, together with the White House Action Plan on Global Water Security, will solidify the United States as a leader in meeting these challenges head on.
During the five-year implementation of the first Strategy (2017-2022), USAID exceeded its targets to provide 15 million people with access to safe drinking water and eight million people with access to sanitation services. Under the 2022-2027 Strategy, USAID has expanded its ambition and committed to reach an additional 22 million people with access to safe drinking water and 22 million people with access to sanitation over the five-year implementation period. For the first time, USAID’s sanitation target is equal to the water target to signal the Agency’s commitment to elevating an often-forgotten issue of critical importance to protecting public health, dignity, equity, and our environment. Half of those people reached with services will be those who have never before had basic water or sanitation access. Other targets focus on accelerating global progress on water and sanitation through capacity strengthening for the many players and institutions that are responsible for delivering high-quality, climate-resilient services that leave no one behind, and on leveraging $1 billion in financing to enable national governments and local partners to lead on solutions that last.
In addition to advancing the goals of the bipartisan Water for the World Act, the Global Water Strategy will advance other shared priorities, for example bolstering global food security and nutrition, mitigating fragility, conflict, and gender-based violence, and responding to the growing threat of climate change.
Since 2008, USAID has reached nearly 60 million people with access to safe drinking water, and nearly 45 million people with access to improved sanitation. The new Global Water Strategy will push us to do more, from exercising bold leadership and creating new partnerships, especially with the private sector and local stakeholders, to focusing our resources on the difficult challenges that continue to hold us back – climate change, inequality, and global cooperation. Ahead of next year’s UN Water Conference, we must all redouble our efforts to protect our water resources and drive equitable and resilient water and sanitation access for all.