Tuesday, September 2, 2014

FY15 appropriations recommendations for water and sanitation

For those of you who were wondering, here's what we are fighting for on Capitol Hill for FY15 appropriations.

FY 15 State & Foreign Operations Appropriations
We encourage Members of Congress to support the following requests for global safe drinking water, sanitation, hygiene, and related accounts.

Executive Summary

USAID Global Health Programs
·         Support the Senate statutory funding level of $2.769 billion
Development Assistance
·         Support the House statutory funding level of $2.53 billion
Senator Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act
·         Support the Senate statutory funding level of $400 million
·         Support the Senate report funding level of “not less than $145 million for programs and activities in sub-Saharan Africa” within the $400 million for water
·         Support reworked statutory and report language (see below)
The USAID Operating Expenses account, which provides the means for USAID to execute all of its programs, is also under budgetary pressure.  We encourage Congress to protect this account as well.
Statutory language recommendations:

Provided further, that of the funds appropriated by this Act, not less than $400,000,000 shall be made available for long-term, sustainable water supply, sanitation, and hygiene projects pursuant only to the Senator Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act of 2005 (Public Law 109–121), of which not less than $15,000,000 shall be made available for programs to design and build safe, public latrines for women and girls in Africa and Asia.

Report language recommendations:

·         Water and Sanitation.-The Committee recommends not less than $400,000,000 in this act for sustainable water and sanitation projects pursuant to Public Law 109-121, of which not less than $145,000,000 is for programs and activities in sub-Saharan Africa. The Committee intends these funds to be used for programs to provide safe drinking water and sanitation for rural and urban communities where water scarcity or contamination poses serious risks to human health, with an emphasis on the poorest communities and countries, and on drought prone regions of Africa. These funds are in addition to other funds in this act to protect and sustainably manage water resources.

·         The Committee supports USAID's recent efforts to address the shortcomings identified in GAO report "U.S. Water and Sanitation Aid" (GAO-10-957), specifically regarding a lack of measurable goals, benchmarks, and timetables included in U.S. water and sanitation programming. The Committee recommends that a portion of funds appropriated by this act for water and sanitation projects be used for robust monitoring and evaluation including pre- and post-project[1] in accordance with section 7 of Public Law 109-121, and USAID's Water and Development Strategy, and to support the development and dissemination of best practices in sustainable water and sanitation programming. The committee directs USAID to consult with the Committees on Appropriations on these efforts.

·         The Committee supports public-private partnerships to leverage additional non-Federal investments and expertise for water and sanitation-related programs, including through the Development Credit Authority, as appropriate.

·         The Committee recognizes that sexual and other assaults against women and girls often occur outside at night when they are vulnerable due to the lack of safe and accessible latrines in many developing countries. USAID is directed to consult with the Committee on a multi-year plan focused on the poorest countries in Africa and Asia to design and build safe public latrines for women and girls. The act provides not less than $15,000,000 for this purpose.


[1] “Pre- and post-project” is a vital phrase, pivotal to the sustainability of these programs, and we urge the Senate to consider supporting this language from the House.