Bank of America, Water.org Partner to Provide Clean Water and Opportunity in Southern India
$1 Million Grant Will Enable Families in Need to Access “Microloans”
Bank of America today announced a $1 million grant to Water.org, a global organization that provides innovative, community-led and market-based solutions that change lives through safe water and sanitation. The grant will empower 100,000 people in southern India to obtain safe water and sanitation solutions, accelerating positive change in their homes and communities. This will be achieved through a Water.org program, WaterCredit, which enables people in need to access small loans for water connections and toilets.
According to Water.org, water-related illness worldwide, such as diarrhea, is among the leading causes of death in children under five years old, listed with deadly diseases such as malaria. Moreover, according to the World Health Organization, every dollar invested in water and sanitation generates approximately a $4 economic return. The World Economic Forum, in its recently released 2015 Global Risk Assessment, ranked water crises as the number one global risk in terms of impact on people’s health and quality of life.
Collecting scarce water in impoverished communities is usually the job of women and girls, often taking hours each day. Similar initiatives have shown that with the availability of clean, safe water, their lives can be transformed: Women have significantly more time to pursue paid work, and girls have more time to attend school. Women constitute 91 percent of WaterCredit borrowers globally.
“We are pleased to partner with Water.org to help provide clean and safe water to people who desperately need it,” said Alex Liftman, Global Environmental Group executive. “Water access is one of the most pressing issues of our time. Through our connection with Water.org, we are improving environmental and global health, and creating educational and economic opportunities for women and girls.”
Water.org said that the grant from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation will benefit three of its local WaterCredit partners in the region, helping them to provide small loans for families to pay for water access and sanitation. As the loans are repaid, they will become a new, sustainable source of affordable water and sanitation financing in the region.
“With the ongoing support of partners like Bank of America, we can make great progress in providing access to clean, safe water where it’s most needed – and to help hundreds of thousands of people break the cycle of disease and poverty,” said Gary White, CEO and co-founder of Water.org.
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For more than two decades, Water.org has been at the forefront of developing and delivering solutions to the water crisis. Founded by Gary White and Matt Damon, Water.org pioneers innovative, community-driven and market-based initiatives to ensure all people have access to safe water and sanitation, giving women hope, children health and communities a future. To date, Water.org has positively transformed the lives of more than two million individuals living around the world, ensuring a better life for generations ahead. Learn more at www.water.org and www.facebook.com/water.
Bank of America
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