The Trump Administration Just Made a Decisive Step to Provide Safe Water And Sanitation Globally
Proving that collective action matters more than ever
Despite the rise of isolationist rhetoric on American soil, the US government is showing that global water remains a strong national priority — very welcome news for some of the most vulnerable citizens on the planet
In 2014, the Water for the World Act recognized the importance of water, sanitation, and hygiene, requiring the creation of a Global Water Strategy by 2017. On Nov. 17, only one month behind the statutory deadline, USAID and the State Department released the whole-of-government Global Water Strategy.
The Global Water Strategy tackles key risks presented by lack of adequate WASH (water and sanitation health), including the many related health problems from neglected tropical diseases, stunting, diarrhea, and other issues.
The strategy is guided by four primary objectives: increasing sustainable access to safe drinking water and sanitation services, and the adoption of effective hygiene behaviors; encouraging the sound management and protection of freshwater resources; promoting cooperation on shared waters; and strengthening water-sector governance, financing, and institutions. The US will focus its efforts on countries that seem to have the best opportunities, as outlined in the original 2014 legislation.
This strategy is a collective and comprehensive vision for global water security, developed through the efforts of over 17 US government agencies and departments, along with input from both the public and private sectors. It marks a crucial step forward in ensuring that all global citizens have access to lifesaving water and sanitation.
Throughout 2013 and 2014, global citizens took over 53,000 actions calling on Congress to support the Water for the World Act. Through a congressional learning trip to India, a giant inflatable toilet, and advocacy in Washington, DC, Global Citizen played a key role in supporting this legislation.
Thanks to the voices of thousands of individual global citizens, the Trump administration is recognizing that “water is an opportunity.”
Water security is essential to disease prevention, economic growth, and state security. In the words of the Global Water Strategy, “Water is an entry point to advance core democratic values around equality, transparency, accountability, women’s empowerment, and community organization.”
And the report is right. Any and all global issues that we face necessarily include a fight for the basic human right of clean water for all, a cause that Global Citizen campaigns on.
As US President Donald Trump said:
“Water may be the most important issue we face for the next generation.”