USAID has released its FY 2020 Annual Report of Water Security, Sanitation and Hygiene Activities. The report focuses on USAID’s WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) approach, towards which $450 Million USD were invested in 41 different countries.
This investment has allowed 3.9 million people to gain access to sustainable water service (68 percent for the first time) and 4.1 million to gain access to sustainable sanitation (90 percent for the first time.) Fifty-one percent of these were women and girls.
The agency’s action focused on 5 key areas. The first of which was responding to COVID-19 by improving sanitation conditions and reducing the spread of the virus. The second was data-informed decisions and targets, a strategy that, through a partnership with UNICEF and WHO produced data to help determine how and where these actions could have the greatest impact.
The report also focuses on building climate resilience at the source, a strategy that involves local stakeholders to implement sustainable growth and water security strategies.
USAID has also focused on managing water resources in fragile states such as South Sudan, Burkina Faso and Niger in ways that can stimulate economic growth and food security.
Lastly, the US Ggency developed work to empower women in the water sector, in particular, where women and girls face serious health risks because of inadequate access to safe drinking water and sanitation facilities.
The report also sheds light on how USAID reached - and exceeded - targets and goals set out in the US Government Global Water Strategy ahead of schedule.