- Area: Congress, Budget
- Organization/Initiative: GHI, USAID, MCC, State Dept., The Global Fund, HHS, DoD, CDC
- Issue/Condition: Tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, Nutrition/Food Security, Water, Family Planning/Reproductive Health, Maternal & Child Health, Malaria, Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs), Pandemic Influenza
The resolution highlights health related impacts associated with the lack of safe drinking water and adequate sanitation facilities around the world and declares March 11, 2011 as “World Plumbing Day”.
The stated purpose of the proposed bill is “(1) to enable first-time access to safe water and sanitation, on a sustainable basis, for 100,000,000 people in high priority countries . . . within 6 years of the date of enactment of this Act through direct funding, development activities, and partnerships; and (2) to enhance the capacity of the United States Government to fully implement the Senator Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act of 2005.” Among other things, the proposed bill would create water related positions at both the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the State Department and authorizes specific water and sanitation related activities aimed at fulfilling the goals of the bill.
In a statement prior to a vote on a United Nations (UN) resolution designating water as a human right, U.S. Deputy Representative to ECOSOC John Sammis stated that “the United States is deeply committed to finding solutions to our world’s water challenges . . . [and] we support the goal of universal access to safe drinking water,” but that the U.S. would be abstaining from the vote due to concerns about the proposed language of the resolution.
The Congressional Research Service (CRS) released a report titled “Global Access to Clean Drinking Water and Sanitation: U.S. and International Programs.” According to the summary “[t]his report addresses congressional efforts to address limited access to clean drinking water and sanitation, outlines related programs implemented by USAID and MCC, and analyzes issues related to U.S. and international drinking water and sanitation programs that the 112th Congress might consider.”
The Senate Committee on Foreign Relations approved the “Senator Paul Simon Water for the World Act of 2011” (S. 641). The stated purpose of the bill, which was originally introduced in March of 2011, is “(1) to enable first-time access to safe water and sanitation, on a sustainable basis, for 100,000,000 people in high priority countries . . . within 6 years of the date of enactment of this Act through direct funding, development activities, and partnerships; and (2) to enhance the capacity of the United States Government to fully implement the Senator Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act of 2005.” Among other things, the proposed bill would create water related positions at both the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the State Department and also authorizes specific water and sanitation related activities.
- Senate Report accompanying the bill (#112-194).
The Senate passed by voice vote the “International Protecting Girls by Preventing Child Marriage Act of 2011” (S. 414). Originally introduced in February of 2011, the bill states, among other things, that “child marriage undermines United States investments in foreign assistance . . . to reduce maternal and child mortality, reduce maternal illness, halt the transmission of HIV/AIDS [and] prevent gender-based violence.” The bill requires the President to establish a multi-year strategy to prevent child marriage and authorizes the President to implement a variety of foreign assistance programs directed at the needs of girls including “access to water and suitable hygiene facilities . . . [and] access to health care services and proper nutrition for adolescent girls.”
- Senate report accompanying the bill (#112-170).
Representative Russ Carnahan (D-MO, 3rd) introduced the “Global Science Program for Security, Competitiveness, and Diplomacy Act of 2012” (H.R. 6303) in the House. Among other things, the proposed bill would create research competitions at the global, regional, or country specific level with the aim of “address[ing] global challenges such as ocean acidification, nonproliferation, multiple drug resistant diseases, water-borne diseases, development of sustainable renewable energy resources, sanitation, food shortage, and water resources.”