Featured photo: Investing in water and sanitation to transform lives
In India, a woman collects clean water thanks to the work of WaterEquity, a new OPIC partner that supports microfinance institutions working to expand access to water. With more than 600 million people around the world lacking safe drinking water, and even more lacking access to basic sanitation, investments in these sectors remain critical. However, the microfinance institutions working to address this need often require financing to respond to the high demand.
This week, OPIC committed $20 million in financing to WaterEquity, a subsidiary of Water.org, to support investment in enterprises working to supply clean water and sanitation to the world’s poor. The project will raise and deploy social impact investment capital to enterprises, including microfinance institutions, to help scale the organization’s proven solution. Over seven years, the project is projected to provide at least 4.6 million people in South and Southeast Asia with access to safe water and sanitation.
In developing countries, the shortage of clean water often has a disproportionate impact on women who are tasked with walking to the nearest water source, which is often hours away. OPIC has supported water infrastructure projects both large and small, from Asia to Africa. In Algeria, for example, OPIC financing supported the construction of a reverse-osmosis water desalination plant that has helped alleviate severe water shortages by providing water for approximately 350,000 families.