World Water Day – March 22, 2013

ImageWater — the key to life. All countries and communities, rich and poor, depend on it to live. Yet, as we celebrate World Water Day on Friday, March 22, one in six people worldwide lack access to clean water sources. The global demand for water is doubling every 20 years, and by 2025, more than 2.8 billion people are expected to be living in either water-scarce or water-stressed regions.

The role of water in development is unmistakable, and improving its quality, management and use can positively affect millions of lives every year. To that end, the United Nations has designated 2013 the Year of Water Cooperation, elevating the need for the world to come together and meet the water needs of the planet. The goal of the Year of Water Cooperation is to raise awareness about the potential for cooperation, and the challenges of water management in the face of increasing demands for water access, allocation and services.

USAID has been a leader in providing individuals around the world with access to this vital resource. In FY 2011 alone, we provided more than 3.8 million people with improved access to a drinking water supply and more than 1.9 million with improved access to sanitation facilities. In a challenging context like Afghanistan, we improved irrigation on 25,000 acres of farmland, bringing new livelihoods, food security, and other benefits to more than 600,000 families. USAID and its in-country partners have linked these efforts to other key development priorities in Ethiopia, Malawi, Nigeria and Tanzania where 1 million people living with HIV now have access to clean water.

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This entry was posted in Global Health, Health Literacy and tagged , , by Heather Swift. Bookmark the permalink.

About Heather Swift

Heather “Swifty” Swift has been Kicking mAss since 1998. At 28 she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer as a recently single mom with two small babies on her hip. After completing treatment with the thought that cancer was in her rear view mirror she worked, locally, as a volunteer for Ithaca Breast Cancer Alliance doing community outreach to be certain that no one faced cancer alone. In 2005, she had a secondary diagnosis of breast cancer and tested positive for the BRCA2 mutation, which only amped up her commitment to creating positive change and to becoming a strong and effective advocate for the young adult cancer community. Now, at age 42, Swifty, her partner, Brian, and her two teenage children work together locally, nationally and internationally to advocate for change. Swifty regularly meets with legislators to work towards tangible change in health care, legislation that addresses the needs of cancer patients, care-partners, and families. She works directly with clinicians, medical/nursing students, youth & college students, cancer support organizations and others to educate them about the special needs of young adults living with a cancer diagnosis. Swifty is passionate about providing support by connecting people living with cancer to resources, to other cancer survivors, and to mobilizing and training individuals and groups to find their inner advocate. Swifty currently works with a number of amazing, hand-selected organizations, which provide her with opportunities to educate, to advocate, and to change the conversation about cancer and to work to bring an end to the disease. A few include: LiveSTRONG, mAss Kickers, Imerman Angels, National Breast Cancer Coalition, Cancer Resource Center of the Finger Lakes, Dusty Showers & The Second Basemen, and Stupid Cancer. Swifty is an oncology nursing student in upstate New York, loves time with her family, paddling sports, and peanut butter. She is a Virgo, but not the really anal-retentive type. Her strange fascination with superheroes makes her popular in geek circles, but it can be endearing. Swifty will be riding a llama across Oregon in July of 2012 and really does believe we can achieve and end to cancer and in world peace. Motto: Never Give Up! Favorite quote: “Our own life has to be our message.” ― Thich Nhat Hanh

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