Water for the World Act Assures Commitment to Solve the Global Water Crisis

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Khardiata, 11, drinks from a well installed by World Vision in her village of Sam Peul. Before the well was drilled, diseases caused by drinking impure well water and skin irritations from insufficient bathing plagued the villagers. PHOTO: World Vision / Karen Homer

Washington, DC (December 19, 2014) — World Vision applauds the passage of the Water for the World Act (PDF) which will help 748 million people get closer to clean water.

After unanimous passage in both Houses of Congress, Friday, the President signed the Paul Simon Water for the World Act (H.R. 2901) into law. The bill was sponsored by U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Bob Corker (R-TN), cosponsored by Senators Chris Coons (D-DE) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ), and led by U.S. Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Ted Poe (R-TX) in the House of Representatives.

“The Water for the World Act is a beautiful example of our nation’s leaders coming together to work on this critical piece of the poverty puzzle. It ensures that the United States stays focused on helping the most vulnerable children and communities, who don’t have access to clean water and sanitation services,” said World Vision’s President Richard Stearns. “Clean water, adequate sanitation, and hygiene are vital to ensuring that we put an end to preventable diseases like diarrhea, a leading killer of children under five, giving them a chance at a full life.”

“World Vision is grateful for the leadership on the Hill of Senators Durbin and Corker and Representatives Blumenauer and Poe,” said World Vision’s senior health policy advisor, Lisa Bos.  “We know the impact that access to water, sanitation and hygiene has in the communities in which we serve. The role of the US in reaching the poorest communities is vital, working alongside organizations like World Vision.”

The Water for the World Act will build upon the Senator Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act of 2005, which established access to safe drinking water and sanitation as a priority of America’s foreign policy. Friday’s vote reaffirms the legacy of Senator Simon’s lifelong dedication to safe drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) around the world and its importance as a fundamental building block to alleviate poverty and improve health.

Nearly 1,600 children under five die each day from diarrhea caused by unclean water and poor sanitation.

Patti Simon, wife of the late Senator, celebrated the bill and said, “It’s been almost a decade since the passage of the Senator Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act of 2005, and this year’s bill is an important step toward increasing the impact of that original legislation. Paul would be proud of the momentum we’re seeing to get safe, sustainable drinking water and sanitation to more and more people in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.”

The Water for the World Act is a cost-free approach with enormous positive impacts on health, food security and nutrition, environmental quality, girls’ and women’s empowerment, and economic development across the globe. It increases monitoring and evaluation of projects to ensure assistance is getting to those who need it most.

The Water for the Poor Act has made a tangible difference in the world. Every year, these programs bring better WASH access to millions of people across Africa, Asia, and Latin America. In FY11 and FY12, USAID provided almost 7 million people with improved access to drinking water supply, and almost 3 million with improved access to sanitation.

World Vision is the largest NGO provider of clean water, delivering water to a new person every 30 seconds.

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About World Vision:
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization conducting relief, development, and advocacy activities in its work with children, families, and their communities in nearly 100 countries to help them 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/media-center/ or on Twitter @WorldVisionUSA.


  • The Water for the World Act ensures United States stays focused on providing water in most-needed places.
  • Nearly 1,600 children under five die each day from diarrhea caused by unclean water and poor sanitation.