On August 1, 2013, the Senator Paul Simon Water for the World Act of 2013 (H.R. 2901) was reintroduced by U.S. Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Ted Poe (R-TX).
The Water for the World Act is a cost-free approach with enormous positive impacts on health, school attendance and retention, food security and nutrition, environmental quality, women’s rights and economic development across the globe. H.R. 2901 is designed to strengthen implementation of the 2005 Act by “improving the capacity of the United States Government to implement, leverage, and monitor and evaluate programs to provide first-time or improved access to safe drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene to the world’s poorest on an equitable and sustainable basis, and for other purposes.” It maintains its focus on improving the efficiency, effectiveness and transparency of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and State Department water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programs, and leveraging the health benefits of WASH, by requiring:
• Improved analysis before selecting focus countries and enhanced requirements that investments be based on need for water and WASH services
• Sustainability principles that must be applied to the selection of WASH and water programs
• Increased transparency and accountability
• The State Department to leverage its diplomatic powers and support USAID in meeting its development and poverty-reduction missions
• Coordination and integration of WASH and water programs with other strategies, policies, and programs, including conservation, agriculture, food security, nutrition, child survival, gender equality and economic empowerment, and violence against women
International Medical Corps applauds the sponsors of this critically important legislation for their leadership and commitment to WASH programs and will be working to ensure broad support for it in Congress.