WaterAid Australia Annual Report 2013-14

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WaterAid is working towards a world where everyone, everywhere has access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene. Every day we strive to achieve this goal.

Thanks to our big-hearted donors, our generous corporate supporters and funding from the Australian Government, we are able to manage programs in developing countries and work with local partners to help communities set up water systems and hygienic toilets. Access to these vital services can help eliminate poverty and improve people’s lives.

In the past year we continued to provide access to safe water and toilets in Timor-Leste and Papua New Guinea. We started working in new areas such as the integration of access to water, sanitation and hygiene with food security and climate change adaptation in Timor-Leste. We have a new partnership in Papua New Guinea to assess the water, sanitation and hygiene practices and needs during childbirth in the Western Highlands.

Supported by the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade we continued to undertake work in Africa and South Asia. In October we were pleased to host a series of presentations around Australia by WaterAid Malawi’s Mercy Masoo.

We recently established a country program in Cambodia where our initial work is focusing on people with disabilities, health facilities and the problems of under-nutrition caused by poor sanitation.

WaterAid advocates and campaigns for better services by lobbying governments and harnessing the voice of the public to maximise our impact. One thousand people signed up to the “WASH Away Poverty” campaign as we established a stronger campaigning base amongst our supporters. In May 2013, we welcomed the Australian Government’s increase in the aid allocation to water, sanitation and hygiene to $280 million, just under 5% of the aid program, and a 70% increase on the previous year’s allocation to this area.

We also welcomed the United Nations Secretary- General’s High-Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda’s recommendations on the major goals the international community should collectively be focused on and the inclusion of achieving universal access to water and sanitation as a dedicated goal.

None of our work could be achieved without the tireless and lifesaving contributions of our wonderful corporate supporters and individual donors. Our corporate membership program continued to show strong growth and our voluntary fundraising committees continued their extraordinary support, devoting countless hours raising vital funds and awareness of our work. Both one-time and regular giving exceeded budget and our utility bill insert program enabled us to acquire new regular donors.

To make all this happen it is important to have strong governance, financial structures and policies. It is also important to have committed leadership and we thank Adam Laidlaw who left WaterAid in early 2014, after six and a half dedicated years as Chief Executive. During this time the organisation grew from a relatively small $2.4 million operation in 2007 to become an effective and authoritative $10 million Australian NGO.

We thank everyone who has supported us in the past year and our dedicated staff and board. It is thanks to people like you that many communities in developing countries now have safe water and hygienic toilets for the very first time.

Rob Skinner, Chair and
Rosie Wheen, Acting Chief Executive, WaterAid Australia