WaterEquity, the Water.org mechanism that finances development institutions engaged in water and sanitation projects around the world, has raised $153 million from international investors. This funding represents the final closing of its third impact investment fund, the Global Access Fund.
WaterEquity will finance African development institutions with new funds dedicated to water and sanitation projects. On 31 March 2022, the Water.org mechanism, which operates worldwide, particularly in Africa, announced the successful raising of $153 million from several investors. These include institutional investors, foundations, impact investors and donor advised funds, and the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), which alone provided $100 million in debt capital.
The funding for WaterEquity represents the final closing of its third impact investment fund, the Global Access Fund. “The funds will be disbursed over a seven-year period with the goal of improving access to water and sanitation for 5 million people in Asia, Latin America and Africa. We are targeting 100% of low-income families, 60% of whom are women,” says WaterEquity.
According to WaterEquity, the funds raised will be distributed among development institutions in the form of microloans on the three continents concerned. In Africa, these microloans will finance projects to connect households to the drinking water network and to build toilets to reduce open defecation.
According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), an average of 418 million people out of Africa’s 1.3 billion still lack even basic drinking water services, and 779 million people lack basic sanitation services (of which 208 million still practise open defecation). Faecal sludge mostly ends up in waterways, making the resource unsafe.
WaterEquity plans to raise further funds for climate-resilient water and sanitation solutions at the household level in Africa.