11.13.14

Leahy Recognized For Leadership In Addressing Global Water Issues

. . . Lives Are Saved And Health Of Many Is Improved Each Year Through U.S. Efforts Funded By Leahy’s Legislation And Used By Service Organizations Based In Vermont And Elsewhere

WASHINGTON (THURSDAY, Nov. 13, 2014) – Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday was presented with the WASH Advocate Award for his strong support for ending the global safe drinking water crisis. 

In a presentation in the U.S. Capitol, Leahy was joined by Vermont advocates Carolyn Meub and Barbara Carris of Pure Water For The World.  Also on hand was his wife, Marcelle Leahy, a Registered Nurse.  In one of Leahy’s visits to Haiti to inspect relief efforts funded by Leahy’s panel in the aftermath of the massive 2010 earthquake, she visited a project headed by the Vermonters.  

The 2014 WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) Advocate award was presented by Patti Simon, wife of the late Senator Paul Simon (D-Ill.), Meub, executive director for the Vermont-based Pure Water for the World (PWW), and Carris, board member for PWW.

Leahy said:  “It is shocking that in the 21st Century, billions of people lack safe water, or any form of sanitation.  It reminds us of what we in this country take for granted, and how much more needs to be done.  But we can also take satisfaction in the progress that has been made, and you have played an important part in that. Patti, we are honored to have you here today both to remember Paul’s extraordinary legacy on these issues, and to recognize your own work to continue what he started and to promote water as a key priority for our foreign aid programs.” 

Leahy, long an advocate of assuring access to safe drinking water around the world, has made water and sanitation improvements a priority in U.S. foreign aid, amid tight overall budgets.  This year he increased funding for sustainable water and sanitation projects to $400 million in his role as chairman of the State Department and Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee – the budget panel for the State Department and U.S. foreign assistance.  If these funds are approved, they would be used in part to implement the Simon Water for the Poor Act.

Patti Simon said:  “Senator Leahy, thank you so much for all your hard work over the years.  We know that these projects not only provide clean drinking water to those who desperately need it, but also help prevent the spread of disease and combat malnourishment in young children. Your work truly carries on the mission and legacy of my husband.”

Carolyn Meub said:  “Pure Water for the World started as a Rotary Club project that has now grown into an international organization.  I would like to thank Senator Leahy for his strong support of the Water for the Poor Act over the years.  There are many Americans in both Vermont and all the 50 states who are working hard to provide water and sanitation to more people.  As Executive Director of Pure Water for the World and as a Rotarian, I am doing what I can, and so are many others.  We hope you will continue to support robust funding for water and sanitation projects.”

Every year U.S. WASH programs bring better WASH access to millions of people across Africa, Asia, and Latin America.  In FY11 and FY12, USAID provided almost 7 million people with improved access to drinking water supply, and almost 3 million with improved access to sanitation. This work is now supported and reinforced by USAID’s first-ever Water and Development Strategy, launched in October 2013.

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PHOTO http://www.leahy.senate.gov/imo/media/image/111214-20750-0015-jy.jpg

Left To Right:  Manny Rouvelas (Partner, K&L Gates), Sean McGlynn (Government Affairs Analyst, K&L Gates), John Oldfield (CEO, WASH Advocates), Carolyn Meub (Vermont constituent, head of Pure Water for the World), Patti Simon (wife of late Senator Paul Simon), Senator Leahy, Mrs. Leahy, Cecilia Snyder (Communications Director, WASH Advocates), Barbara Carris (Vermont constituent, Board Member for Pure Water for the World)

Photo Credit: The United States Senate

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