© Helvetas / Simon Opladen

Water, Food & Climate

Access to safe water, a stable supply of nutritious food, and sustainable natural resources is crucial for resilient lives.
© Helvetas / Simon Opladen

The world’s most vulnerable people struggle to meet their daily basic needs. Water and food are critical for survival, yet safe water remains out of reach for 2.1 billion people and food security is increasingly threatened by the effects of climate change.

Protecting the Essentials

Today, one in four people worldwide lack access to safe water — a fundamental human right. Hunger is on the rise, fueled by conflicts and inequality that has worsened during the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2020 alone, an additional 71 million people were pushed back into extreme poverty.

Climate change is compounding problems faced by the most vulnerable. Climate-related disasters and overexploitation of natural resources are urgent threats. These cause droughts, floods, and crop failures — endangering the foundation of food supply systems globally.

Geburtsstation  Benin | © Helvetas / Simon Opladen
«We used to have problems with infections, because the water that the patients’ families brought was often not clean.»

Nafissatou Bagana, midwife at the Sirarou maternity ward, Benin

Our work

Helvetas helps communities and governments to distribute water resources fairly, sustainably manage water supply and sanitation services, and improve hygiene practices. We also strengthen food systems by securing land rights, advancing best practices in agriculture management, and advocating for policies that increase the availability of affordable, healthy food.

Enhancing access to markets and improving services are critical components of sustainable development. Helvetas supports the building and maintenance of trail bridges, rural roads and tracks to ensure that people can sell their products and access the services and goods they need.

Climate change is hitting the poorest and most vulnerable communities the hardest. Helvetas works with these groups to build resiliency through integrated landscape management, risk-informed decision making and improved access to climate finance.

Our Working Fields

WASH & Water Governance

The most vulnerable communities suffer from dirty and scarce water. Annually we help up to 500,000 people get new access to drinking water and basic sanitation.

Climate & Disaster Resilience

Every year, we support over 1,000,000 people in adapting to climate change, reducing the risks of disasters, sustainably managing natural resources, and conserving nature.

Bridges & Roads

Lack of transport infrastructure makes it impossible for the poor to escape the poverty trap. We help people get better access to markets, schools, and hospitals.

Food & Nutrition

Helvetas works to combat the world’s hunger problem by connecting disadvantaged women and men to stable supplies of affordable, nutritious and healthy food.

Selected Projects: Water, Food & Climate

© Helvetas
Mali Private Sector Development

Dynamizing Agriculture for the Youth

© Helvetas/Nomwindé Sawadogo
Burkina Faso WASH & Water Governance

Health for Schoolchildren and Their Families

© Helvetas / Simon B. Opladen
Nepal Private Sector Development

Riverbed Vegetables

© Helvetas
Nepal WASH & Water Governance

A Fair Share of the Water

© Helvetas
Mali WASH & Water Governance

For Functional Wells and Communities

© Helvetas
Madagascar Climate & Disaster Resilience

Boosting Income to Boost Rainforest Conservation

© Helvetas
Mozambique WASH & Water Governance

Supplying Small Towns with Water

© Helvetas
Haiti Climate & Disaster Resilience

Better Prepared for Storms

© Helvetas / Simon Opladen
Guatemala WASH & Water Governance

Good Governance Makes for Good Water

© Helvetas
Ethiopia Climate & Disaster Resilience

Pastoralists Take Charge of Natural Resource Management

© Helvetas / Simon B. Opladen
Bangladesh Climate & Disaster Resilience

Clean Drinking Water from the Skies Above

© Helvetas / Narendra Shrestha
Nepal Bridges & Roads

Trail Bridges for Safe Routes

© Helvetas / Patrick Rohr
Nepal Climate & Disaster Resilience

Fresh Start after the Earthquake

Mali Climate & Disaster Resilience

New Strategies to Adapt to Climate Change

North Macedonia Climate & Disaster Resilience

Conserving biodiversity, managing complex landscapes

© Helvetas
Tajikistan Bridges & Roads

Organic to Markets

© Helvetas
India WASH & Water Governance

Fair and Good – for People and Planet

© Water Sanitation Mozambique
Global WASH & Water Governance

Swiss Water Partnership

© Water for food
Global Voice, Inclusion & Cohesion

Tackling Corruption in the Water Sector

Switzerland Climate & Disaster Resilience

For Climate and Disaster Resilience - Swiss NGO DRR Platform

© Helvetas
Madagascar WASH & Water Governance

Water - the Source of Life

Bangladesh Voice, Inclusion & Cohesion

Local Government Initiatives on Climate Change

Rasht Valley Tajikistan | © Helvetas
Tajikistan Gender & Social Equity

Improved Nutrition and Health for Rural Families

Kyrgyzstan Private Sector Development

Sustainable Tourism Strengthens People and Nature

 Mother with daughter preparing food | © Patrick Rohr
Laos Climate & Disaster Resilience

Connecting for Improved Nutrition

© Helvetas/Simon B.Opladen
Burkina Faso Bridges & Roads

A Road to Change Village Life