Hundreds of millions of people had life-altering experiences with water insecurity globally in 2020
13 January 2023
Water insecurity across LMICs


Former IMMANA grantee Sera Young co-authored a new paper entitled "Estimating national, demographic, and socioeconomic disparities in water insecurity experiences in low-income and middle-income countries in 2020–21: a cross-sectional, observational study using nationally representative survey data".

Building on previous IMMANA work (HWISE) the authors aimed to assess the prevalence of water insecurity across low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) and examine how it varies by sociodemographic characteristics and exposure to life disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic across and within countries. The researchers used Individual Water Insecurity Experiences (IWISE) scale data from a cross-sectional, nationally representative sample of individuals aged 15 years and older in 31 LMICs. 

45,555 individuals from 31 LMICs completed the IWISE module between Sept 4, 2020, and Feb 24, 2021. The overall prevalence of water insecurity in 2020 was 14.2%, ranging by region from 36.1% in the sub-Saharan Africa region to 9.1% in the Asia region, and by country from 63.9% in Cameroon to 3.6% in China. Through extrapolation of these nationally representative data, the paper estimate that hundreds of millions of people had life-altering experiences with water insecurity globally in 2020, and that their sociodemographic characteristics vary by country and region.




Sera Young is a former grantee that worked on the IMMANA project: HWISE: A novel tool for the assessment of household-level water insecurity: scale refinement, validation, and manual development


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