Grant to support WaterCredit activities in India, launch in Indonesia
Caterpillar Inc. announced that the Caterpillar Foundation and Water.org formed a $3 million partnership aimed to reach more than 218,000 people with clean water and sanitation over the next three years. The program will support a significant expansion of Water.org's WaterCredit activities in India and also fund a market assessment to explore the launch of the WaterCredit program in Indonesia for the first time.
WaterCredit facilitates small loans for water and sanitation access for people living in poverty. A market-based solution, WaterCredit is accelerating large-scale, sustainable progress against the water and sanitation crisis.
"We are honored to be working with the Caterpillar Foundation on this high-impact program," said Water.org co-founder and CEO Gary White. "Because of Caterpillar's generous support, we will reach more people with clean water and sanitation, at a faster rate and at a decreasing philanthropic cost per person. Furthermore, we will also be able to attract divergent sources of capital to support lending in the water and sanitation sector in South Asia."
"The Caterpillar Foundation supports a number of basic human needs programs in areas where Caterpillar has a presence," said Jim Baumgartner, director of corporate public affairs at Caterpillar. "The sustainability of Water.org's model is really what drew us to WaterCredit. This program will provide clean water and sanitation facilities to thousands of families in India, but the cycle of progress will continue as the loans are repaid and these funds are provided to others in need."
The Caterpillar Foundation grant will support two WaterCredit programs in India. This includes the expansion of a Revolving Loan Fund managed by one of Water.org's local partners in Bangalore to provide an additional 8,000 households with access to microloans for clean water and sanitation. Through this financial model, once a loan is repaid, it is then re-lent to the next person in need.
The grant will also support Water.org's work with its existing microfinance partners in Bangalore and Tamil Nadu. It will facilitate WaterCredit loans for sanitation purposes, enabling more than 180,000 residents to gain access to hygienic sanitation facilities such as household toilets. Finally, the Caterpillar Foundation grant will fund an initial market assessment in Indonesia by the Water.org team to assess and lay the groundwork for the launch of WaterCredit in Indonesia.