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US Congress

The Millennium Water Alliance is one of the principal WASH advocates today before the U. S. Congress.

We work very closely with our 13 member NGOs and others in the broader WASH community, to educate members of Congress on WASH issues, and to stress the need for U.S. leadership.

MWA brings years of high-level experience in lobbying to the WASH sector. We participate in creating legislative strategy, developing the public message, and monitoring and analyzing developments in the field to help Congress make informed decisions.

Our Priority Legislation includes:

The Sen. Paul Simon Water for the World Act, HR 2901, introduced in the House in August 2013 by Reps. Earl Blumenauer ( D-OR) and Ted Poe (R-TX), an update and improvement on current law, the Senator Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act (Public Law 109-121) that was enacted in 2005. Check the News section on this site for most recent updates!


What The Water for the World Act Will Do:

In 2005, The Senator Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act (Public Law 109-121) was signed into law, making safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) a US foreign policy priority. In the years since, USAID (the United States Agency for International Development) and the US Department of State have improved millions of lives by helping to provide WASH services, and have worked with other governments to increase efforts to move toward meeting every human being’s right to safe drinking water and safe sanitation.

Now, nearly 10 years later, The Senator Paul Simon Water for the World Act seeks to refine and improve the current law. This new legislation will make better use of existing WASH funds, strengthen accountability for WASH programs already underway, and ensure the greatest impact on communities worldwide, without spending new money or creating new bureaucracy. The Water for the World Act (HR 2901 in the U.S. House of Representatives) will:

  • Ratify the existing capacity in the U.S. government to ensure WASH remains a policy priority, and that expertise is available at USAID and State Department headquarters, and in country-level USAID missions, to guide implementation of effective and sustainable WASH programs;
  • Sharpen the criteria for choosing high-priority countries to ensure that limited funds are directed to the countries and communities most in need, recognizing evidence that the poorest people benefit most from receiving WASH services;
  • Increasing integration of WASH programs with other critical interventions, including child survival, global health, food security and nutrition, and gender equality, to increase their efficiency and impact;
  • Advance best practices of effective aid, such as improved monitoring and evaluation and a focus on leveraging non-Federal partnerships and funds;
  • Improve the strategic approach to international safe water, sanitation and hygiene, and to water resource management, by providing guidance that builds on USAID’s own Water and Development Strategy (May 2013), such as by requiring transparency in country priorities, the results of field programs, and regular reviews of progress using recognized metrics.

2/25/14

To see the full text of HR 2901, click here.

Annual Congressional appropriations bills to fund WASH and other foreign assistance programs through USAID. Check the News section on this site for most recent updates!


News

REP. POE URGES ADVOCATES TO HELP PASS HR 2901

Lead Republican sponsor Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) urges community to push Congress to act. See the video in our Resources section. See the video…

For current progress, please visit our News page.


How We Do Advocacy… 

For MWA members, we:

  • Monitor pending and possible  legislative activities that affect not only WASH specifically, but also international development generally.
  • Prepare field alerts, analysis, and letters to key members of Congress.
  • Assist our members to develop information for, and to speak to, Congress – wherever their board members, staffs, and donors are across the US, they have a constituent relationship to Congress.
  • When our members can participate in policy decisions, they do; when they cannot, MWA is authorized to represent our members in legislation affecting WASH issues.
  • Keep our members informed about activities within the broader WASH community that may affect public policy.

 

For the WASH community in the US and abroad:

  • MWA plays a leading role in working with others  to create effective strategy and share information, helping the community speak with a united voice.
  • As a member of InterAction, MWA serves as co-chair of the InterAction WASH Working Group,  a public policy forum that is open to all WASH organizations.
  • We work with other organizations to create and implement effective coalition advocacy; at this time, the most active group on legislation includes MWA, CARE (an MWA member), WaterAid America (an MWA member), InterAction, and WASH Advocacy Initiative – and we also work extensively with the broader WASH coalition.
  • We represent WASH concerns to the entire US-based international development community, and strive to forge common approaches wherever possible.