PepsiCo Foundation Announces Innovative New Initiatives to Drive Sustainable Wat...

Sep 2008
New York, United States, September, 25 2008 - PepsiCo Foundation announced today two major new grants to WaterPartners and Safe Water Network programs to provide access to safe water and sanitation for individuals and communities in developing countries. The grants, totaling $7.6 million, are a component of the ongoing commitment by PepsiCo Foundation to promote and accelerate sustainable approaches to water access, conservation and usage in underserved regions .

This commitment seeks to create awareness and generate change to help achieve the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. In the last year, PepsiCo Foundation and PepsiCo have made more than $16 million in commitments for water projects around the world.

PepsiCo Foundation highlighted its commitment to WaterPartners today at the William J. Clinton Foundation's Clinton Global Initiative, which is hosting its annual meeting this week in New York City .

“One of the major goals of PepsiCo Foundation is to develop sustainable partnerships that will bring clean, safe water to populations in need,” said Indra Nooyi, CEO and chairman of PepsiCo and chairman of PepsiCo Foundation. “Our relationships with WaterPartners and the Safe Water Network – two highly effective organizations with proven leadership and strong community links – will help create and maintain long-term, secure water supplies, improving the quality of life across these global communities.”

WaterPartners Grant

The grant to WaterPartners, totaling $4.1 million , is the biggest single contribution to WaterPartners' WaterCredit Initiative. The unique initiative uses an innovative microfinance program to increase access to safe water and improve sanitation for local communities in India .

WaterPartners' groundbreaking WaterCredit Initiative will establish a microfinance market to enable hundreds of thousands of impoverished people across India to gain better access to water through micro loans. PepsiCo Foundation's contribution to WaterPartners will bring clean water to 120 , 000 people across India over the course of three years , accelerating and broadening the delivery of safe water in the area. The WaterCredit model improves water access for urban communities , reducing dependence on individuals who often control water supply and charge high prices for water.

The WaterCredit program in India has two main components: first, to provide traditional grant funding directly to local non-government organizations to install pipes , faucets and storage cellars in impoverished communities, reaching some 60 , 000 people. The second component is to establish a loan fund that will empower communities to expand access to safe water for an additional 60 , 000 people over the course of the three-year project. This model produces a “multiplier effect” for impact based on a single source of funding and is the first time PepsiCo Foundation has applied micro finance as a strategic vehicle to advance water and sanitation improvements.

The idea of building community-based water supply projects through a combination of grants and loans is new to the water sector. Until now, nearly all water projects facilitated by other organizations have been funded entirely by grants, even when the individuals served by the project have the means to share costs.

“Addressing the world water crisis is an immense challenge that requires a partnership of resources and expertise,” said Gary White, executive director and co-founder of WaterPartners. “ The micro-credit model employed by WaterCredit can dramatically increase access to clean water and improved sanitation for the poorest communities around the world. PepsiCo Foundation's contribution ensures that this proven model can reach more of the communities that need to access this vital resource.”

Safe Water Network Grant

The initiative led by the Safe Water Network ( SWN ) and supported by the PepsiCo Foundation involves bringing safe water to households and villages in India , Ghana and Bangladesh . Working with non-governmental and community organizations and the private sector, SWN will address the critical water needs of nearly a quarter million people by supporting the development and implementation of water systems that will reliably provide neglected populations with safe, affordable water. The methods include rainwater harvesting, village-level water systems and “water kiosks.” Safe Water Network programs also work to mobilize and educate communities to raise awareness and provisions to create and maintain permanent clean water supplies. SWN will receive $3.5 million during a three-year period based on annual progress.

“With PepsiCo Foundation's help, we will support the implementation and optimization of innovative safe water solutions that over time will reach millions of people, ” said Kurt Soderlund, chief executive officer of the Safe Water Network.

It is estimated that more than one billion people do not have access to safe drinking water and every year approximately two million children die unnecessarily from water-related diseases in the developing world. As part of the Millennium Development Goals, which were established in 2000 and endorsed by 192 nations, the world has pledged to reduce by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation by the year 2015.

Source : Pepsico

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