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Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
June 6, 2007


State Department Releases Second Annual Report on its Safe Water and Sanitation Strategy in Developing Countries

Yesterday, the U.S. Department of State released the second annual report describing U.S. government efforts to provide affordable and equitable access to safe water and sanitation in developing countries. In 2006 alone, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), through its development assistance provided improved safe drinking water access to over nine million people and sanitation access to approximately 1.5 million people.

This report is required by Section 6 of the Senator Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act of 2005. The Act makes the provision of safe water and sanitation services in developing countries a component of U.S. foreign assistance. It requires the Secretary of State, in consultation with USAID, to develop and implement a strategy to support this goal within the context of sound water resource management.

The 2006 Report to Congress laid out the U.S. strategy on water, set up overarching principles, and defined six key areas for U.S. activities. The 2007 Report to Congress builds upon the 2006 report by expanding on regional strategies and adding discussion on several emerging issues: climate variability and change; wastewater treatment; land-based sources of pollution and coastal issues; and the special needs of urban populations.

In FY 2006, U.S. government agencies obligated, bilaterally and through multilateral institutions, more than $844 million in official development assistance for water, sanitation, and related activities around the world, increasing aid in some of the areas with greatest need, such as Sub-Saharan Africa. The community of United States agencies working on development assistance has made significant progress in taking actions prescribed by the Act. Since the release of the 2006 report, the United States has assessed water conditions in over 60 countries and consulted with local government officials, other development agencies, civil society groups, foundations, and the private sector on the United States' role in addressing the water crisis. The U.S. has also spearheaded international efforts to develop methods for measuring progress on water-related projects and programs and develop region-specific strategies in Asia, Africa, Eurasia, and Latin America.

The 2006 and 2007 Reports can be found at www.state.gov/g/oes/water. View testimony by U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Claudia A. McMurray at www.state.gov/g/oes/rls/rm/2007/85333.htm.


2007/443

Released on June 6, 2007

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