Small loan, big impact
n 2012, OPIC committed a $3.5 million loan to Healthpoint Services Global India Ltd., an affiliate of the U.S. company Healthpoint Global Services Inc., to support the construction of small water treatment facilities to some 400 communities in India’s Punjab state that have limited access to safe drinking water.
The project, which is expected to prevent waterborne diseases and other problems such as stiffening of joints from excessive fluoride content, helped the Healthpoint project earn the highest score on OPIC’s development matrix among all the projects the agency committed in fiscal year 2012. While OPIC carefully reviews all proposed projects and only supports those determined to deliver a strong development impact, Healthpoint, with its particularly high developmental score, serves as a paradigm of the sort of project OPIC supports, and its extensive, comprehensive review of all projects.
In addition to providing clear health benefits, the project’s strong economic benefits contributed to its high developmental score. By its fifth year in operation, the project is expected to create about 600 permanent jobs that provide extensive benefits such as health care and stock ownership. The project, which will use reverse osmosis and ultraviolet technologies to purify water, is also expected to generate procurement of goods and services from local businesses.
In 2011, NPR covered Healthpoint and its efforts to supply clean water to rural India and the company was recognized by Bloomberg Businessweek as among that year’s America’s Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs.