CDC Launches Antimicrobial Resistance Challenge

Project Title: Engaging WASH to Tackle Antimicrobial Resistance
March 2020
Global Participation: Countries that made commitments to the AMR challenge (as of December 11, 2019). Credit: CDC
Global Participation: Countries that made commitments to the AMR challenge (as of December 11, 2019). Credit: CDC


This "challenge" represents a major global initiative to galvanize commitments and actions to combat antimicrobial resistance at a global level. More than 32 countries committed to addressing this challenge, and WASH organizations alone made 47 commitments to combat AMR through improving access to sustainable WASH services.

The Story

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) collaborated with water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) organizations on the Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Challenge. During this year-long initiative, WASH organizations made 47 commitments to combat antibiotic resistance. Access to adequate community sanitation and hygiene (e.g., water for handwashing) can help to stop infections, reduce the need for antibiotics, and slow the spread of antibiotic resistance. Notably, World Vision—a humanitarian aid, development, and advocacy organization—committed to investing approximately $100 million from 2019–2022 in basic WASH services, which will help an estimated 7.2 million people. World Vision will work in 35 countries where it focuses on safe WASH, including in communities in Ghana, Mali, Niger, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

The CDC’s initiative to combat antibiotic resistance globally received nearly 350 commitments from 32 countries to escalate government, civil society, and private industry efforts to save lives from antibiotic resistance. These key actors are taking steps to improve use of and access to current antibiotics; improve infection prevention and control; reduce antibiotic resistance in the environment, like water and soil; develop new vaccines and drugs; and share data to help scientists stay ahead of antibiotic-resistant germs.

CDC has already started to see progress on commitments and will continue to partner with WASH organizations to build on successes from the AMR Challenge Year.

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Strategic Objective(S)

Governance and Financing


Invest in sustainable infrastructure and services
Strengthen partnerships, intergovernmental organizations, and the international community


Additional Agencies