Durbin Discusses Water And Mobility With USAID Administrator Power

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today spoke with Samantha Power, Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), during a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs hearing about the success of the Paul Simon Water for the World Act. Durbin said that over the last 11 years, USAID helped provide approximately 57 million people with either improved or first time access to clean water and more than 38 million with sanitation services because of the bill, which passed in 2014.

Showing a photograph taken in Ghana, Durbin remarked, “This is something called a Digni-Loo, which is basically a sanitation facility for people in one of these poor villages. And they’re pretty happy to see it. It gives them much better public health outcomes in the area…it becomes part of the public health system. I hope you’ll remember the Paul Simon Water for the World Act in your undertakings.”

Durbin then discussed the Illinois-based bicycle manufacturing company SRAM and its sister nonprofit, World Bicycle Relief, which provides bicycles to people in developing countries – particularly in rural areas – helping eliminate distance as a barrier to access when it comes to education, health care, and economic opportunity. 

“They have distributed 520,000 bicycles in Africa – sturdy bicycles – that made a difference. Girls started going to school. Their fathers wanted to keep the bicycles because they took goods to the market. We decided mobility was a good thing in the developing world, and because of the efforts of this committee, another 42,000 bicycles have gone to Africa. I think there is an opportunity here.”

Durbin concluded, “I hope that you will consider those projects – Water for the World and World Bicycle Relief – as part of the ‘small ball’ but equally important to other greater things, in expanding the United States’ role in the world in a positive way.”

Video of Durbin’s remarks in Committee is available here.

Audio of Durbin’s remarks in Committee is available here.

Footage of Durbin’s remarks in Committee is available here for TV Stations.