Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
August 16, 2010


On August 13, 2010, the U.S. Department of State released the Senator Paul Simon Water for the Poor 2010 Report to Congress describing U.S. efforts to expand access to safe drinking water and sanitation, improve water resources management and increase water productivity in developing countries.

The Senator Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act of 2005 requires the Secretary of State, in consultation with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator, to submit an annual report to Congress outlining the U.S. Government’s strategy and progress in achieving the objectives of the Act.

The United States is committed to reducing water-related diseases and to increasing access to safe drinking water and sanitation in countries with critical needs. As Secretary Clinton noted on World Water Day (March 22, 2010): “It’s not every day you find an issue where effective diplomacy and development will allow you to save millions of lives, feed the hungry, empower women, advance our national security interests, protect the environment, and demonstrate to billions of people that the United States cares, cares about you and your welfare. Water is that issue.”

Key Results: In FY 2009, the United States (primarily through USAID and the Millennium Challenge Corporation) invested about $774 million for all water sector and sanitation-related activities in 62 developing countries. Of that amount, USAID invested more than $481 million in drinking water and sanitation-related activities. As a result of USAID investments, some 5.7 million people received improved access to safe drinking water and 1.3 million received improved access to sanitation during FY 2009. Other U.S. Government agencies made unique contributions to water and sanitation that greatly magnify our overall effectiveness. In many cases these agencies made both programmatic and non-financial contributions. From 2005 to 2009, the United States invested more than $3.4 billion for all water sector and sanitation related activities.

In her 2010 World Water Day speech, Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton asked Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs Maria Otero and USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah to review current efforts and identify specific steps to strengthen the United States’ capacity to deliver sustainable, measurable results. This process is underway.

This and previous reports in response to the 2005 Senator Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act can be found at www.state.gov/e/oes/water/index.htm. For more information on the Department’s efforts on water, visit: www.state.gov/e/oes/c36032.htm.



PRN: 2010/1113