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Water & Sanitation

Water for the World Act passes US Senate, Millions of lives to be improved

PHOTO: The 111th Senate class photo via Wikicommons

Great work, Global Citizens. YOU did it.

Late tonight, the Water for the World Act passed in the Senate.

In 2014, we worked tirelessly with you, our partners and Congress to move this bill forward. It sure wasn’t easy and we almost didn’t get there. On Wednesday night, Senator Coburn placed a hold on the bill in the Senate; the bill would not pass unless the hold was removed. Over the weekend, Global Citizens across the country mobilized and called on Senator Coburn to be a hero by removing the hold.

And, your voices were heard. Around 5:00pm on Monday, Senator Coburn stepped up to the plate and agreed to withdraw his hold on the Water for the World Act.

The bill passed unanimously in the Senate and - beginning in January - millions more people will have access to water and sanitation.

Just to review, the problems this bill will help solve:

  • 748 million people are still without access to clean water
  • 2.5 billion people live without proper sanitation

This bill will:

  • Ensure US foreign aid goes to the countries who most need it and use it the most effectively
  • Improve transparency, reporting and tracking of Sanitation programs to ensure aid is meeting its intended goals
  • Improves aid delivery while costing US taxpayers almost nothing in increased spending

Ok, it’s a bit technical sounding but seriously, this is a huge and crucial step forward in solving the world’s sanitation problems.

Thank you for all your hard work. There is of course much more to be done to ensure all people have access to water and sanitation, regardless of their place of birth. We’ll be in touch early next year on how you can help us make this a reality!

But for now, let’s pause to celebrate and relive this journey together:

There is still US President Obama’s signature needed, but with unanimous support in the Senate and the House of Representatives, it’s safe to say the US President will do the right thing.


Judith Rowland