Senate Passes Bill to Aid 100 Million of the World's Poor Who Lack Clean Drinking Water and Adequate Sanitation

Water activists are celebrating: water and sanitation are increasing problems around the world, with insufficient efforts to improve the access people—especially the poorest people, with the least access to health services—have to clean water.

But the Senate recently passed the Water for the World Act of 2009, which will aim to provide 100 million of the world’s poorest people with clean drinking water and adequate sanitation.

"With nearly one billion people lacking sustainable access to safe drinking water and 2.6 billion lacking adequate sanitation," said David Douglas, president of the organization Water Advocates, that's a huge step.

Many more steps are needed, especially considering water is now officially recognized as a human right, but it's a start.

Some people might be skeptical (with reason) about the effectiveness of this legislation—what will make it any different than similar, not-so-successful efforts? In theory, the legislation "represents a model for modernizing foreign assistance by demanding investments that are cost-effective, sustainable and pro-poor, utilizing an integrated approach, while leveraging private-citizen resources and requiring transparency."

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