Washington, DC (June 19, 2012) — Christian humanitarian group World Vision today praised the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for acting to pass the Senator Paul Simon Water for the World Act of 2011 (S.641).
Led by Senators Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), the Water for the World Act would strengthen the implementation of the 2005 Water for the Poor Act, which made access to safe water and sanitation for developing countries a specific policy objective for the United States. In fact, in 2009 alone, the bill helped bring safer water to more than 6.4 million people.
The new bill seeks to build upon the success of the earlier bill and enhance the capacity of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the State Department to play a greater, more effective role in development assistance. Long with fulfilling other needs, the new legislation will increase the sustainability of water, sanitation and hygiene projects to ensure that communities’ needs are met over the long-term.
The Water for the World Act would advance critical US foreign policy objectives, including ending preventable deaths of children under five years old by putting into place critical interventions that address diarrhea and pneumonia, two of the three leading killers of children worldwide.
"World Vision has worked for decades to help bring clean water and sanitation to underserved communities,” said Lisa Bos, World Vision’s health and education policy advisor in the United States. "We know the impact water, sanitation and hygiene has on a child's health. We are thankful for the Committee’s action today, and are hopeful that the House will respond similarly."
In December, a bipartisan companion bill (H.R. 3658) was introduced in the House of Representatives by Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) and Ted Poe (R-Texas).
“For every $1 invested in safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene, at least $8 is returned in saved health care costs and increased economic productivity,” said Bos. “This legislation offers Congress an opportunity to empower and support poor communities to meet their basic needs. We hope this Senate action today encourages the House Foreign Affairs Committee to act as well, so that a bill can be sent to the President," added Bos.
- END -
About World Vision:World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. We serve the world's poor — regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. For more information on their efforts, visit WorldVision.org/press or follow them on Twitter at @WorldVisionNews