Water.org received a $3 million grant over three years from Bank of America to empower more than 250,000 people in southern India and Brazil with safe water and sanitation, accelerating positive change in their homes and communities. This will be achieved through Water.org’s microfinance solution, WaterCredit, which enables people in need to access small loans for water connections and toilets. Through market-driven financial solutions, this grant will help Water.org change lives with allocations of $2 million to India and $1 million to Brazil. This announcement builds on previous grants which, including this announcement, total $4.25 million to Water.org since 2011 from the Bank of America’s Charitable Foundation.
This new grant funding will also enable Water.org’s local implementing partners to mobilize $21 million in local capital that they will use to provide water and sanitation loans to the under- and un-served.
“With support from Bank of America Charitable Foundation, we have made great progress in providing access to safe water where it’s needed the most,” said Gary White, CEO and co-founder of Water.org. “With this new grant, we’ll be able to reach more than a quarter of a million more people in India and Brazil.”
“At Bank of America, we are focused on how we deploy capital and create partnerships that help address the world’s biggest challenges – including access to clean water,” said Anne Finucane, vice chairman, Bank of America. “The expansion of our partnership with Water.org is one way we invest to scale innovative, proven ideas that have already shown great results.”
The grant will advance the following key objectives:
1. Accelerate market-based financial approaches for expanding water and sanitation access for the poor
2. Leverage the remaining years of the Swachh Bharat Mission in India to accelerate access in one of the largest and most advanced markets for microfinance solutions to the water and sanitation crisis. Introduce Water.org’s proven WaterCredit solution to Brazil to accelerate impact in this new, top-priority geography
These objectives will address global challenges facing women, like Manjula.
Without a home water tap, Manjula had no choice but to carry a 20-to-30-pound water container back and forth each day to a community water tank about a kilometer from her home. Water.org discovered that something keeping moms like Manjula from providing safe water for their families was a lack of access to the financing needed to construct a water tap. This insight led to the creation of WaterCredit, enabling people in need with access to small, affordable loans.
It’s smart, simple and sustainable. More importantly, it helps the people Water.org serves address their immediate need and continues to enrich their lives long after the original loan has been repaid.
For Manjula, the loan allowed her to construct a water tap at home. Now the time she used to spend collecting water each day can be used caring for her children. And with more time and energy to invest in caring for the “kakada” flowers she sells, Manjula can earn 2,000 rupees a month – enough to repay her loan.
With the help of partners like Bank of America, Water.org is empowering millions of families, like Manjula’s, to solve their water and sanitation challenges and create a better life.
Water.org has empowered more than 8.9 million women, children, and men with access to improved water and sanitation in India. This new grant enables our organization to increase that number in India and expand the solution to Brazil.