Senator Paul Simon Water for the World Act (H.R 2901), a bipartisan bill authored by Congressmen Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Ted Poe (R-TX) was presented to the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Thursday, November 19. The committee approved the bill, clearing the path for a vote on the House floor soon after the Thanksgiving recess.
Currently, nearly 800 million people lack access to clean water. An astounding 2.5 billion people worldwide live without access to proper sanitation. Every day, women and girls spend a combined 200 million hours collecting water, keeping them from school, work, and family. Every year, 3.4 million people lose their lives due to water related diseases. At any given time, half of the world’s hospital beds are occupied by people with illnesses that could be prevented by access to clean water and sanitation. Worldwide, children lose many school days because of water born diseases.
The Water for the World Act is a response to these direly needed improvements. The bill will ensure that :
- Resources go to the countries and communities most in need of water, sanitation and hygiene programs (WASH)
- The US government agencies working on WASH and all other groups work together to make sure that the resources invested achieve long-term impact
- WASH programs are included in other critical measures that address child survival, global health, food security and nutrition, and gender equality
- There is proper review of WASH projects by the US government to increase transparency in reporting and ensure that projects are effective and impactful
On a press release a day before the bill was presented to the House Foreign Affairs committee, Congressman Blumenauer noted the strong bipartisan support the bill has by “good people on all sides of the political spectrum.” He pointed out that the swift passage of the Water for the World Act will insure “America’s security, global health, and the lives of women and children without burdening taxpayers or making enemies abroad.”
You can read the proposed bill here Water for the World Act -HR 2901-Nov 17.