Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene: Essential Components for Food Security


Water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) interventions play critical roles in achieving the major goals of the U.S. Government’s global hunger and food security initiative, Feed the Future, which targets the root causes of hunger, poverty, and undernutrition, especially for women and children.

WASH interventions address two pillars of food security:

  • Availability of food: Water services are used not only for domestic purposes such as drinking and cooking, but also for food production (crops, horticulture, poultry, and livestock) and income-generating activities.
  • Utilization of food: Ensuring good nutrition requires more than just having enough of the right foods. It also requires changing behaviors related to feeding and child care, and having access to and correctly using safe drinking water, hygiene, and sanitation services.