Water sustains life; it’s in the food we eat, the electricity that powers our homes, and in crops that we grow. Water allows our economy to thrive, our children to grow up healthy, and can build peace and cooperation between neighbors. For all these reasons, Water is a fundamental cornerstone to maintaining global peace, security and prosperity. By 2025, as much as two-thirds of the world’s population could be living under water-stressed conditions where water becomes an impediment to health, peace, and socio-economic development.
Statistics like this one make water one of the largest challenges of the 21st century, aforeign policy priority, and an area in which the U.S. Department of State is actively engaged. Our strategy is founded in the belief that many countries are already, or will experience water problems, including; shortages, poor water quality, or floods, all of which increase the risk of famine, instability and state failure, and regional tensions. Water problems will also damage eco-systems, become an impediment to developing countries and generally hinder the global economy.
Droughts are one aspect of the problem. But in September 2010, devastating floods in Pakistan left millions of people without access to sanitary water. The Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) responded by creating the Pakistan Relief Fund to supply victims with clean water. Through this Department-led effort, more than $500 million dollars poured in to aid to the Pakistani people.