Water For Health

Through water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) investments, USAID works to improve health outcomes, providing improved access to safe water supply and sanitation, while promoting improved hygiene practices and supporting approaches that can be brought to scale and sustained. These services can improve health, lower health care costs, and save time, particularly for poorer populations. The results can be immediate and long term with economic and social benefits vital to millions of people.

Water for Health—Strategic Objective 1 (SO1) in USAID’s Water and Development Strategy (2013-2018)—seeks to improve health outcomes through the provision of sustainable WASH. Under the Strategy, USAID’S WASH activities focus on the following areas to most effectively improve water supply, sanitation, and hygiene and promote integration of these complementary WASH sector interventions to facilitate access to appropriate hardware and supplies; promote sanitation and hygiene behavior change; and create an improved enabling environment for sustainable improvements in water and sanitation access.

Focus Areas

Water supply interventions seek to provide sustainable access to a potable water supply that is safe for human use and consumption. Why Water Supply Matters In 2010, the world met the target for safe drinking water five years ahead of the 2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDG) target. The success of our cumulative efforts in meeting the improved water supply MDG is an encouraging milestone in the movement toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) objective of achieving...
Sanitation encompasses the facilities, behaviors, and services that safely prevent human contact with excreta. Why Sanitation Matters Improving sanitation can have a significant impact on health, the economy, and personal security and dignity, especially for women and girls. Investments in sanitation reduce healthcare costs and boost productivity, as time available for work and school increases. Poor sanitation increases the risk of diarrheal disease and undernutrition. It also prevents people...
Preventing the transmission of diarrhea and other waterborne illnesses through the widespread adoption of safe hygiene practices, including handwashing and safe wastewater disposal. Why Hygiene Matters In 2015, diarrhea claimed the lives of roughly 530,000 children under age 5, accounting for 9 percent of all deaths in that age group. Providing clean water and sanitation are simply not enough. Promoting better hygiene is an important way to ensure that improved water supply and sanitation...