Clean Water - Global Impact

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Clean Water

For billions of people around the world, accessing clean water is not as easy as turning on your faucet. 

– 2.2 billion people lack access to safely managed drinking water services.  
– An estimated 446,000 children younger than 5 years die from waterborne illnesses like diarrhea. 
– 670 million lack basic hygiene services with no handwashing facilities at all.

The good news is our charity partners listed below are working to ensure access to clean water is a reality for everyone around the world. Their programs include drilling wells; installing pumps, pipes and toilets; educating communities about proper hygiene and sanitation; and more.  

Explore the resources below to see the impact of their work.

Feeling inspired? Be a global champion and help increase access to clean water by supporting Global Impact charities through your employee giving campaign. 

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Boy smiling with water spout
Benjamin Franklin famously said, “When the well’s dry, we know the worth of water.” Those that live in the United States often do not think twice about the source of their water or whether it is safe to bathe in or drink. It is a luxury that billions of people worldwide do not know, an uncertainty that communities live with every day. Throughout the movement for clean water access is an acronym called WASH, which stands for “water, sanitation and hygiene services.” This concept is used widely by our charity partners and other government entities that focus on worldwide clean…
A woman carrying a pot of water on her head. WaterAid logo.
Just last month, I wrote a blog post about water – namely, the role our oceans play in our future. Now, as we approach World Water Day 2021, I return to discuss water with this question: What does water mean to you? The theme of this year’s World Water Day is “valuing water.” In the lead-up to March 22, U.N Water is asking everyone, everywhere, about what this resource means to them, individually. This could mean from a health standpoint, or a cultural, familial, religious, educational, or economic one. Some of us are lucky – we have access to clean…
The Salvation Army World Service workers handle a shipment of medical goods in South Korea.
The COVID-19 pandemic dominates headlines as it continues to spread rapidly to corners of the world. It has stripped vulnerable communities of vital resources, such as medical personnel and hygiene supplies, further weakening their defense system against its contagion. Now more than ever, it’s crucial to support those at risk all around the world. We must join together to foster a healthier future for all. The Salvation Army World Service Office (SAWSO) recognizes the international impact of COVID-19 and introduces a globally minded strategy. Their COVID-19 relief work spans across 131 countries, offering comprehensive support to the communities who need it…
Water For People logo over photo of a boy looking up while he washes his hands
Our hands are made for playing, dancing, writing, building … not spreading germs! As the COVID-19 pandemic brings the world to a screeching halt, attentive handwashing must take center stage in our daily lives. It’s crucial that we prioritize safe hygiene practices to keep our loved ones safe and flatten the curve. For some, this is easier said than done. Access to essential hygiene supplies is a profound luxury that we often take for granted. In many communities around the world, especially in rural areas, fundamental hygiene resources are scarce. These populations are highly vulnerable to waterborne diseases and harmful…
A boy sitting in a classroom in Haiti
If you’re like me, you aren’t even close to accomplishing your new year’s resolutions yet. True, we are only one month in to 2020, so there’s still plenty of time. But, if you resolved to increase your physical fitness and make the world a better place, then boy – do I have a great idea for you! Hope for Haiti, an organization dedicating itself to improving the quality of life for Haitian people, especially children, is hosting the “Hike for Haiti Challenge” April 17-19, 2020 (if you can’t participate at that time, you can join the fun any other time…
Women at community handpump
When I was in high school, I went on a few international volunteer trips. For one of the trips, our team joined with youth from around the U.S. to help build a school in Mexico. Another trip was to Romania, where we volunteered at orphanages and contributed to a few construction projects. These experiences were really valuable and eye opening to me – and I assumed our contributions were equally valuable to the countries and programs I came to serve. But were they? In college a few years later, I took a class on overseas missions, which rocked my presumptuous…


  • Title: Providing Clean Water
  • Charity: Action Against Hunger
  • Country: Ethiopia
  • Photo Credit: Peter Caton for Action Against Hunger

  • Title: Livelihoods Support in Bangladesh
  • Charity: Action Against Hunger
  • Country: Bangladesh
  • Photo Credit: Fabeha Monir for Action Against Hunger

  • Title: Supporting Local Livelihoods
  • Charity: Action Against Hunger
  • Country: Peru
  • Photo Credit: Dennis Zevallos

Around the world, Action Against Hunger is helping families suffering from hunger to find new ways to earn income and put food on their tables. For example, in Peru, we helped the Oré family to relaunch their business: a trout farm. In the ponds in the above photo, they raise the fish for eating and selling for additional income.

  • Title: Emergency Response
  • Charity: Action Against Hunger
  • Country: South Sudan
  • Photo Credit: Peter Caton

  • Title: Emergency Drought Response
  • Charity: Action Against Hunger
  • Country: Madagascar
  • Photo Credit: Stéphane Rakotomalala

Droughts in Grand Sud, Madagascar, have sharply increased in both frequency and intensity in recent years. Bearing the full brunt of the effects of climate change, families who live in this region have seen drastic impacts on their livelihoods and health. In 2020, there were virtually no rains and this trend continued in 2021. Historically low rainfall levels depleted the few sources of clean water that existed in this chronically dry region. As a result, water-borne illnesses such as diarrhea have increased sharply. And, without rain, there could be no harvests. Food insecurity and malnutrition have increased dramatically. Action Against Hunger’s teams are on the ground, treating malnutrition and helping farmers adapt.

  • Title: Supporting Refugees
  • Charity: Action Against Hunger
  • Country: Uganda
  • Photo Credit: Solomon Serwanjja

Uganda is home to more than one million refugees, who are welcomed to the country with a small plot of land, the ability to work and go to school, and more. To help both refugees and the communities that host them, Action Against Hunger works with groups of farmers to help them learn new skills, grow new crops, and make the most of the limited land and water they have.

  • Title: Providing Emergency Nutrition Support
  • Charity: Action Against Hunger
  • Country: Yemen
  • Photo Credit: Nada Al-Saqaf

Now almost three years old, Watheek was born in displacement. His family fled their home when the war in Yemen worsened. With six children living in a small one-room house, his parents struggle to get by. Watheek suffered from malnutrition in 2021, and received treatment from Action Against Hunger.

  • Title: Reverse Osmosis Provides Clean Water in Gaza
  • Charity: Anera
  • Country: Palestine, State of
  • Photo Credit: Ibrahim Zaanoun

Anera installed an RO unit at Baytouna Community Center to meet the needs of 30,000 residents living in the northern parts of Gaza. According to WHO, 97% of Gaza tap water is too salinated and contaminated for human consumption. This Community center provides clean and safe water to help increase access to water and hopefully reduce the severity of the problem in Gaza. Anera has been installing reverse osmosis (RO) systems at public facilities to increase the population’s access to safe, clean, and sustainable water sources.

  • Title: Fresh Water
  • Charity: Alight (formerly American Refugee Committee)
  • Country: Uganda
  • Photo Credit: Jon Atwell/ Alight

Gardeners test out their new hose for watering their crops.


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Success Stories

unicef logo
On 16 September 2020, a student stands in an empty classroom in Panama City, Panama. A generation of children in Latin America and the Caribbean are missing out on schooling because of COVID-19. Due to the pandemic, 97 per cent of the region’s students have been deprived of their normal schooling. More than seven months into the pandemic, COVID-19 is putting education on hold for more than 137 million children in Latin America and the Caribbean. This is according to a new UNICEF report about the devastating impacts of COVID-19 on education. Since the start of the pandemic, children in Latin American and the Caribbean have already lost on average four times more days of schooling (174) compared to the rest of the world. In a region with over 11 million cases of COVID-19 to date, most students are now at risk of missing out on an entire school year. While schools are gradually reopening in several parts of the world, the vast majority of classrooms are still closed across the region. Almost half of all countries in Latin…
New Mother in Venezuela Receives Pre-and-Post-Natal Support
Michel became a mom in June 2021, when baby Nathan was born; she’s part of the Wayuu community. She lives with her dad, brother and another child that a friend asked her to care for two years ago. She’s a medical laboratory technician and holds a B.A. in Administration. Although she currently works as a Procurement Analyst, she doesn’t make enough to pay for basic needs. Michel has participated in different IRC-supported programs in the community center that is located a couple blocks away from her house. She first visited to get attention after experiencing pain while breast feeding, that’s how she joined the breast-feeding orientation program, in which she has now started to participate to share with other moms-to-be her experience. Additionally, she has joined the Wapushii program after Nathan was born, where she learns how to promote his development during the Early Childhood stage; she also has accessed…
*A happy girl at the playground of her school made out of recycled plastic bricks, in Toumodi-Sakassou, in the center of Côte d’Ivoire. Due to COVID-19, the schools were closed for several weeks. Classes started, and children are happy to see their friends…UNICEF Côte d’Ivoire has partnered with Columbian social business Conceptos Plasticos to turn plastic waste into construction materials for new schools. Research suggests that over the next 30 years, the world may produce four times more plastic than we ever have before. Finding innovative uses for plastic will become imperative to public health. Without plastic waste management, groundwater pollution may leave many communities without access to clean water. Plastic-clogged drains could continue to cause flooding and damage infrastructure. And air pollution from burning trash will pose major environmental and health risks. Because of their cost-effectiveness, durability, and ease-of-assembly, bricks made from 100% plastic waste have the potential to…
Racing against the spread of hunger in East Africa
A fight against the spread of hunger is underway across East Africa, where 32.9 million people are experiencing a complex hunger crisis driven by conflict, the economic impacts of the global pandemic, swarms of desert locusts, and extreme weather conditions. According to the United Nations, at least 5.3 million people in Ethiopia, South Sudan, and Sudan are living under “emergency” conditions, with the threat of acute malnutrition and death. In South Sudan, 105,000 are living under “catastrophic” levels of food insecurity. By air, land, and sea, World Vision teams are delivering emergency food supplies across the region—an area so vast it equates to more than half the size of the United States—in a race to feed hungry families living in some of the most dangerous and isolated places on earth. “We are marshaling resources to support vulnerable communities across East Africa to avert the catastrophic effects of hunger and loss…
Providing Clean Water
The rainy season has ended in southern Ethiopia and the long period of thirst has begun. People in the remote villages of Borena region, and in particular, women make day-long journeys for water. “I used to travel all the way to the top of the mountain and then all the way down to fetch water. I left at 6 AM and came back around 6 PM. I walked all this time just to fetch one jerrycan of water,” remembers Loko, a single mother of five children. “[And the] water was contaminated. The water was not enough for my children, not enough for our drinking, not enough for our daily living. We suffered a lot in the past.” All on her own, even months pregnant, she walked 12 hours daily carrying heavy containers of water that barely lasted through the day. “I didn’t have a donkey to carry the water, so…
Solar panels are installed in Damboa, Nigeria
In 2020, International Medical Corps used diesel-fueled trucks to deliver approximately 315,000 liters of clean water daily across five refugee camps in Nigeria. Clean water is essential for drinking, cooking, sanitation and hygiene, which helps to prevent malnutrition, infection and disease. Though our assistance was invaluable, delivering water by truck is not cost-effective or energy-efficient. And in between water deliveries, community residents had to travel hours through dangerous territory to the closest working aquifer, leaving them open to harassment and abuse—or worse—during their journey. To provide safe, sustainable, long-term sources of clean water to these communities, we needed a better method. Our team decided to harness the power of the sun. “Given the current price inflation and the absence of steady fuel access in Nigeria, using solar panels to power water systems—though expensive to install—provides a low-cost, sustainable solution for water delivery without negatively affecting the environment,” explains Syed Yasir…