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U.S. Government must commit to the poor over politics to solve global water crisis, says World Vision

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Laura Blank

International News Director
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Washington, D.C. (March 4, 2014) — As World Water Day approaches, World Vision, along with hundreds of faith, corporate and nonprofit leaders, will descend upon Capitol Hill Thursday, March 13 to urge the U.S. Government to improve its water and sanitation spending to reach countries that truly lack access to clean water and proper sanitation, rather than countries of political interest.

According to the U.S. State Department, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) in fiscal year 2012 spent over 40 percent of funds designated for water and sanitation in countries where 80 percent or more of the population already had access to clean water and proper sanitation.

“The U.S. Government funds designated for water and sanitation is a miniscule portion of the overall foreign affairs budget, and even these funds are unfortunately falling victim to politics,” said Lisa Bos, Global Health senior policy advisor at World Vision. “The U.S. has made great strides in improving access to clean water in the developing world that have greatly reduced preventable child deaths, but there are so many more lives that could be saved if water funds were used in countries that truly need it.”

In efforts to eliminate this funding imbalance, hundreds of advocates will meet with policymakers on March 13 to call for their support of the Water for the World Act (HR 2901). This bipartisan legislation would require the U.S. Government to spend existing money for clean water and sanitation services solely in the most poor and vulnerable countries. It would also allow greater transparency and accountability of U.S. taxpayer dollars invested in USAID water and sanitation support, and enable them to improve their long-term impact without spending any additional money.

“Clean water and sanitation is the best investment we can make in the developing world to lift people out of poverty,” said Greg Allgood, vice-president of World Vision Water. “This legislation will ensure that we are investing wisely to reach people who desperately need clean water to save lives and build economies.”

World Vision, along with Blood: Water Mission, Living Water International, Food for the Hungry and Water4, are sponsoring H20:DC on March 12-13 where faith, corporate and nonprofit leaders will gather on Capitol Hill to voice the importance of clean water, and to engage policymakers in Washington D.C. to support the Water for the World Act. Some of the event speakers include Mark Batterson of National Community Church; Eugene Cho of Quest Church; author and musician Shayne Moore; Doc Hendley of Wine to Water; and Christian Holmes of USAID. The event will also include a musical performance by Jars of Clay.

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About World Vision:
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender. For more information, please visit www.WorldVision.org/press or follow us on Twitter @WorldVisionNews.