WaterPartners Gets $4m To Fight Water-Related Diseases

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WaterPartners teams with Agora Foundation to fight water-related diseases and deliver clean water worldwide.

WaterPartners International (WPI) today announced a $4 million grant from the Agora Foundation to bring clean water to the world’s poorest communities, furthering WPI’s mission to break the cycle of water-related diseases that claim about 5 million lives annually worldwide.

The gift is one of the largest single private grants to a non-profit group focused on the world water crisis and was spearheaded by philanthropist Wynnette LaBrosse, the founder of Agora, a donor-advised fund at Peninsula Community Foundation near San Francisco. In 2004, Agora gave $1 million to launch WPI’s WaterCredit Initiative, a unique program providing access to financing for the world’s poor so they can build and own sustainable water systems.

Agora’s latest grant will continue to fund water, sanitation, and health education programs and also will provide operational support for WaterPartners. To date, WaterPartners has provided more than 100,000 people with access to clean water, and the latest Agora donation will likely double that number. More on water crisis at http://www.water.org/crisis/waterfacts.htm

Quotes from Wynnette LaBrosse, founder of the Agora Foundation

“We’re investing in WaterPartners again because our past donations immediately helped to save lives, particularly those of children in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, India, and Kenya,” Ms. LaBrosse said. “As Americans, we have a shared responsibility to address this challenge, and Agora’s $4 million grant will provide much-needed assistance to the more than 1 billion people who lack access to safe drinking water and the 2.2 billion who lack adequate sanitation.”

Quotes from Gary White, Executive Director of WaterPartners International

“These funds will literally help save tens of thousands of lives,” said Gary White, executive director of WaterPartners International. “Wynnette and Agora Foundation have long supported our goal of creating a world where everyone has access to clean, safe water, and we expect this generous donation to contribute to breaking the cycle of poverty and despair that accompanies a lack of water and sanitation.”

Background

WaterPartners promotes cost-effective community water and sanitation projects and extensive education on the health implications of clean water and sanitation. WPI’s programs are targeted to give people most in need the chance to not only survive, but dramatically improve their quality of life. In fifteen years since its first project in Honduras, the Kansas City-based non-profit organization has brought a sustainable supply of clean water to more than 100,000 people worldwide.

WaterCredit Initiative

WaterPartners most recent innovation is its WaterCredit Initiative, which brings a micro-finance approach to the water issue for the first time. By making small loans available to communities where credit is virtually unknown, WaterPartners has demonstrated that the world’s poor can successfully participate in financing their own water supply solutions. With this model, WaterPartners plans to accelerate the pace of development of water and sanitation systems in the developing world. Find more information on WaterCredit at http://www.water.org/watercredit/.

About WaterPartners International

WaterPartners International is committed to providing clean drinking water to communities in developing countries. The philosophy of WaterPartners is to empower local communities to take responsibility for solving their own water problems. WaterPartners International works through partner organizations in poverty-stricken countries to create local water committees to oversee construction and the ongoing maintenance of the projects. Since the people who benefit have a real stake in the projects, they are far more likely to ensure their continuation.

More than one billion people lack access to a safe supply of drinking water. Water-related diseases are the leading cause of death in the world. WaterPartners was founded in 1990 because efforts to address the world’s top health problem were inadequate and inefficient. Since then, WaterPartners has developed a 15-year track record for providing solutions that work, setting new standards for innovation and best practices in the sector. For more information, please visit http://www.water.org.

About Agora Foundation and Peninsula Community Foundation

Agora Foundation is the donor-advised fund of philanthropist Wynnette LaBrosse at Peninsula Community Foundation. LaBrosse chose the name Agora, a Greek word meaning “a forum or marketplace for the exchange of ideas,” to promote her interest in grant work that advances issues centered primarily around women, education, the environment, conflict resolution, and public policy.

For more than 40 years, Peninsula Community Foundation has connected people, ideas, and resources for the common good in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. Established in 1964, the Foundation has granted more than $480 million to nonprofits locally, nationally, and internationally, and is the philanthropic partner to more than 750 families, individuals, and corporations. The Foundation enables donors to support the causes they care about, and does so with the entrepreneurial spirit that is a hallmark of the Silicon Valley region. Of the estimated 700 community foundations across the United States, Peninsula Community Foundation is among the top 20 in assets and the top 10 in annual grantmaking. Information is available at http://www.pcf.org.

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