ASH WITHIN REACH 50 YEARS AND BILLIONS SPENT: NEW REPORTING SHOWS UNIVERSAL ACCESS TO WATER, SANITATION, AND HYGIENE DRAWS CLOSER TO EPIC GOAL DESPITE GLOBAL PANDEMIC
Join a special session with Ambassador Mark Green featuring groundbreaking reporting on one of the most stubborn challenges in human history—universal access to water, sanitation and hygiene.
Over the last half century a global galaxy of projects, programs, banks, philanthropies, government departments, idea centers, utilities, service companies, research groups, and consultancies devoted itself to one objective—providing every person on Earth clean water, sanitation, and hygiene. In 2020, many of the sector’s leaders worried that the COVID-19 pandemic would sidetrack investment and slow progress. But while the signs of a potential catastrophe were apparent, the actual effects of the pandemic in delivering water and sanitation to people who needed it were not nearly as dire as anticipated.
Decades of frontline experience provided the WASH sector keen understanding of the various components of their ecosystem—finance, governance, installation, management, operations, oversight—and how each influenced the other. In essence, the WASH community developed a set of approaches that simplified the complexity of what they were after. Achieving universal access to clean water and hygiene is reachable by 2030. Universal access to sanitation could come by mid-century.
These are some of the salient findings of WASH Within Reach, a project undertaken by the Wilson Center and Circle of Blue to investigate WASH services, financing, and resiliency. In interviews with over 40 authorities on five continents, and months of research, the Wilson Center and Circle of Blue unraveled the complexity of a global sector that now spends over $20 billion a year and is on its way to achieving one of the great breakthroughs in human well-being.