Improving global water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) access


Yvonne is a community health worker who counsels others about the importance of clean drinking water. She is part of the USAID-funded MOMENTUM Integrated Health Resilience project, led by Corus organization IMA World Health.

Water is essential not only to health, but also to poverty reduction, food security, human rights and education. Despite the global target for clean water and sanitation through Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6, 2 billion people still lack access to safely managed drinking water at home. 

The Corus International family of organizations is committed to promoting resilience by addressing water, hygiene and sanitation (WASH) crises around the world. While prioritizing social behavior change, our WASH programming employs a public health approach to WASH in emergencies, as well as sustainable water resource management for long-term development. 

Guided by IMA World Health’s long-standing expertise, the Corus family continues to integrate WASH interventions into livelihoods projects as well as into broader primary health care delivery and health systems strengthening initiatives. By engaging with government, health and community leaders, we seek to accelerate change to bring equitable WASH access to all. 

Learn more about our water work through highlights from across the globe: 

DRC: WASH in emergencies 

Renewed clashes in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) have forced hundreds of thousands of people out of their homes, worsening the already dire humanitarian crisis in the North Kivu province. WASH needs are urgent across internally displaced person (IDP) sites, especially after a cholera outbreak was declared in December 2022 in the Nyiragongo health zone.  

In response to critical WASH needs and to support cholera response efforts in displacement areas, Corus organization IMA World Health partners with fellow humanitarian actors to provide critical hygiene and sanitation inputs such as hand washing stations, latrines, showers, brooms and waste collection baskets. By increasing access to WASH for IDPs and host households in the Nyiragongo health zone, IMA World Health is committed to reducing mortality and morbidity rates from waterborne diseases.

Guatemala: WASH best practices 

With one of the highest levels of chronic malnutrition in the world, food security is an urgent issue in Guatemala. Poor water quality is further compounding food security concerns - from the monitoring of 20% of the water systems in Guatemala, 54% were reported to be at high and imminent risk for human health. 

Through the Improving Health and Nutrition in Guatemala’s Western Highlands project, Corus organization Lutheran World Relief partners with FundaSistemas to improve nutritional outcomes and strengthen agricultural development in the San Marcos department of Guatemala. Applying innovative behavior change methodologies, the project utilizes home visits, technical assistance and an arts-based community development (ABCD) curriculum to promote healthy food consumption, agricultural diversification, maternal and child health and WASH best practices. To reduce the incidence of diarrhea and other preventable diseases, families are benefitting from Ecofilters that provide sustainable access to clean water while also learning about household hygiene practices. 

Yemen: Urgent WASH infrastructure 

The humanitarian crisis in Yemen remains one of the most acute in the world with an estimated 4.3 million internally displaced people (IDPs) across the country. Access to water and adequate sanitation services for Yemeni families is critical.  

Corus organization Lutheran World Relief partners with the Field Medical Foundation (FMF) to implement the Provision of Life-Saving Emergency WASH Support for IDPs project in Yemen’s Marib Governate. To ensure dignified living conditions, the project provides conflict-affected populations with urgent water, sanitation and hygiene support through emergency water supplies, installation of water points, mass hygiene promotion and hygiene kit distribution.  

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