Leading organizations commit to clean water, sanitation
The Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) has announced a "Water and Sanitation Mega-Commitment" which will help millions of people to gain two of life's most fundamental necessities: clean water to drink and a safe, private toilet to use. The announcement included commitments to action by an alliance which includes the Global Water Challenge (GWC), WaterPartners, and the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC)...
NEW YORK, NY, Sept. 25, 2008 -- The Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) has announced a "Water and Sanitation Mega-Commitment" which will help millions of people to gain two of life's most fundamental necessities: clean water to drink and a safe, private toilet to use.
The announcement, made at CGI's 2008 Annual Meeting, included commitments to action by an alliance which includes the Global Water Challenge (GWC), WaterPartners, and the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC). Collectively, the $60 million in commitments in which they are involved will improve the quality of life for some 6 million of the world's poorest people.
The scale of the challenge is huge, as nearly 900 million people lack access to safe drinking water and 2.5 billion to safe sanitation, with disastrous health, social, economic and environmental consequences. The alliance believes that the new, specific and measurable approaches embodied in their commitments can both deliver results and generate momentum for even greater progress.
"Changemakers for Water and Sanitation"
The $25 million commitment from Global Water Challenge will help fund new innovative projects, found through the Changemakers.net competition. This online, global, collaborative competition co-hosted by Ashoka inspired 254 local entrepreneurs and organizations working in the developing world to send in proposals to provide safe drinking water and sanitation for their communities.
"We believe that these projects will start a ripple effect in their communities and around the world to create scalable, replicable and sustainable models that address the global water and sanitation crisis," said Paul Faeth, Executive Director of Global Water Challenge.
GWC is a Washington, D.C.-based coalition of 22 companies, non-profits, health organizations, and foundations, who are committed to reaching the goal of universal access to clean drinking water and safe sanitation.
"Contributions to the Global Sanitation Fund (GSF)"
The GSF is the world's first dedicated sanitation fund which invests in interventions for poor people. Nearly 2 million people per year die from diarrhea. Most of these deaths could be prevented by basic sanitation -- the proper disposal of human excreta -- and hygiene. The $30 million commitment will facilitate access to sanitation services and good hygiene practices through grants to carefully selected community-based programs in the world's poorest countries.
"Although sanitation has been called the greatest medical advance of the past 150 years, about 40 percent of the world's population wake up every morning with nowhere to defecate," says Jon Lane, Executive Director of WSSCC. "This problem can be solved."
WSSCC is a Geneva, Switzerland-based global membership organization that works to improve the lives of poor people in developing countries by enhancing collaboration among water, sanitation and hygiene agencies and professionals.
"WaterCredit" and "Securing the Building Block of Life"
A $4.1 million commitment from PepsiCo Foundation to WaterPartners will accelerate greater access safe water and sanitation for those living without these basic necessities in India. This will be achieved through traditional grant programs as well as through WaterCredit, a unique initiative that facilitates loans for water and sanitation.
The ONEXONE Foundation and its partner H2O Africa have committed to donating no less than $1 million to WaterPartners in order to reach 55,000 people in Africa with access to safe drinking water and improved sanitation.
"Every 15 seconds, a child dies from a water-related disease," says Gary White, WaterPartners Executive Director and Co-Founder. "Together with our partners - our donors and the local communities in need - we're working to put an end to this needless suffering."
WaterPartners is a U.S.-based nonprofit organization that empowers people in developing countries to develop and sustain solutions to their own water and sanitation needs.