International Housing Coalition
Weekly Update
December 11, 2015
In this Update 

10th Anniversary of the Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act

Congressman Earl Blumenauer
Supporters of the Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act, including IHC representatives, gathered December 8th in the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington DC to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the enactmen t of the landmark Senator Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act.
Since its enactment USAID has allocated more than $1.5 billion to improving a ccess of the poo r around the world to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). IHC has been a strong advocate for the continued funding of the Act, and a unique voice requesting projects for the urban poor and slum dwellers, as the Act requires that funding be distributed in a balanced way between urban, peri-urban and rural areas.
The celebration was organized by WASH Advocates, which has led a 10-year effort to make the public and decision makers aware of the importance of clean water and basic sanitation. Two and a half billion people lack adequate sanitation facilities, and nearly 800 million do not have access to clean water. WASH funding enjoys widespread bi-partisan support in Congress.
Speakers at the event included Senators Richard Durbin and Bob Corker; Representatives Earl Blumenauer, Ted Poe, and Nita Lowey, and Patti Simon, the widow of Senator Paul Simon.

Chicago Council on Global Affairs Weighs Importance of City Governance

The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, a membership organization providing educational opportunities and policy recommendations on a range of global issues, has recently become involved in the future of cities and urbanization. After hosting their first annual Forum on Global Cities in May of this year, the Council released an article last week, highlighting the growing importance of cities and municipalities, and particularly their increasing independence and power on the global stage. 

The article discusses the ways in which cities are acting independently of their national governments, both directly with other countries and through the city-to-city partnerships aided by new technological advances. 

Read the full article here. Read more about the Council's work on cities here
Community Letter on the Foreign Aid Transparency Act 

Please join IHC partners the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network and InterAction in supporting the recently introduced Foreign Aid Transparency and Accountability Act (H.R. 3766 / S. 2184), by signing on to a letter of support.

The Act would both establish evaluation guidelines for U.S. international development and economic assistance programs and centralize public access to data and reports through the existing aid transparency website. B road support for these letters is important and we and encourage your organization to join. Read the letter and view current co-signers here. For more information on the Act read the Senate summary here and an MFAN statement here

Sign on to the letter here
Webinar: Market Analysis for Urban Humanitarian Response

Please join the Active Learning Network for Accountability and Performance in Humanitarian Action (ALNAP) for the next installment of their urban webinar series,  which will focus on the important role of markets in urban humanitarian response. 

The session will discuss the importance and special adaptations needed in urban markets when responding to crises, appropriate tools for humanitarians, and the challenges and opportunities that come with market analysis in the urban context. 

Panelists will include representatives from the Norwegian Refugee Council and Oxfam. Find more information and RSVP here
In the News and Around the Web
  • Read an article from Devex on the evolution of a "Smart City" here
  • Read an article from NextCity detailing how the outcomes from the COP21 summit will be critical to cities here
  • Read an Op-Ed in the New York Times on specific actions needed to build a "sustainable city" here

International Housing Coalition
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