Denver - Water For People, a nonprofit working across Latin America, Asia, and Africa to sustainably address the global water crisis, announced a transformational gift of $15 million from noted philanthropic leader MacKenzie Scott on Wednesday.
The donation will catalyze Water For People's Destination 2030 strategy, which aims to bring sustainable water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) to more than 200 million people globally by 2030.
There are 2 billion people who lack access to safe water and sanitation which leads to millions of preventable deaths each year. Women and girls are left walking miles each day for water for their families and dropping out of school when their periods come. Without focused attention and investment, the poor, the most marginalized, and those most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change are left behind with faulty infrastructure, contaminated water supplies, unsafe conditions and diminished economic opportunities.
'The water crisis is solvable,' says Water For People Co-CEO Mark Duey. 'What has been missing is the catalytic funding needed to scale our systems-change approaches in communities around the world. MacKenzie's gift means that Water For People is able to ramp up quickly and bring our proven solution into more communities throughout the world. This is essential as we look towards delivering our ambitious Destination 2030 strategy. The fact that she is gifting this without restrictions means that we - along with our partners - can truly create sustainable, generations-lasting change.'
Accelerating progress toward achieving Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG 6) - water and sanitation for all by 2030 - is no small undertaking. Water For People invites partners, donors, and governments to join in closing the gap for the estimated 2 billion plus people globally who still lack sustainable access to safe water, and the over 4 billion who lack access to safely managed sanitation. The World Bank estimates that achieving SDG6 will cost approximately US $114 billion a year.
Born out of the American Water Works Association in 1991 in Denver, Colorado, Water For People works across nine countries to achieve lasting access to clean water and sanitation services. In bringing together communities, local entrepreneurs, and governments to build, operate, and maintain their own systems, Water For People ensures that every family, health clinic, and school has access to safe water and sanitation that will last for generations to come.
'We are so grateful to Mackenzie Scott for her belief in our mission and her trust in our local teams to create generational impact around the world. Access to clean water is a human right,' says Katherine Williford, Chief Growth Officer. 'We are committed to leveraging this investment to ensure everyone - including the hardest-to-reach - has access to safe and reliable water services, forever.'
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