United States Government and World Bank Combine Assets to End Water Poverty

Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
March 22, 2011

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and World Bank President Robert Zoellick signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) today on behalf of seventeen USG agencies and the World Bank Group amid celebrations marking World Water Day 2011 in Washington D.C.

The MOU combines the considerable intellectual capital and technical expertise of the largest-ever alliance of U.S. government agencies with those of the World Bank Group. It enables the parties to collaborate in assisting developing countries’ efforts in water security and water quality. Areas where we expect the agreement to add value to ongoing efforts include:

  • providing information and expert advice to help manage water resources effectively
  • facilitating reliable, sustainable access to water to meet human needs, support livelihoods and protect ecosystems
  • supporting water, sanitation and hygiene to prevent disease
  • predicting drought and floods
  • rehabilitating watersheds and wetlands
  • improving water use and irrigation practices

This pioneering U.S.-World Bank partnership will help governments meet local communities’ needs and assist in reducing tension over shared waters. Given today’s global economic challenges, the U.S. and the World Bank are committed to accelerating more efficient and effective ways to conserve clean water for all. The agreement also will expand the sharing of U.S. water knowledge with developing countries through staff exchanges and expert meetings.

Today’s partnership grew out of Secretary Clinton’s call to broaden the United States’ international collaboration on water. The United States is the World Bank’s single largest shareholder and one of the largest donors to regional development banks. From 2005 to 2009, the U.S. government invested $3.4 billion dollars in water-related foreign aid.

To view the Memorandum of Understanding, visit: //2009-2017.state.gov/e/oes/158770.htm

To view a Fact Sheet on the MOU, visit: //2009-2017.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2011/03/158774.htm

PRN: 2011/443