The UK's Department for International Development (DFID) has awarded a grant of 225,000 pounds Sterling ($423,000 US), through the Business Linkages Challenge Fund to Procter & Gamble (P&G) Health Science Institute and its partner Population Services International (PSI) to save lives in Haiti by using PUR Purifier of Water to provide safe drinking water.
PUR helps address the World Health Organization's concern that more than one billion people lack safe water. An estimated two million children die each year because of diarrhoeal diseases, that could be prevented by safe drinking water.
PUR is a simple, low cost water purifier which has already prevented countless cases of diarrhea by supplying more than 200 million liters of drinking water in emergency situations throughout the world -- particularly in Tsunami hit regions, as well as other countries such as Botswana, Chad, Malawi, Liberia and Zimbabwe.
So far, PUR sachets have provided more than 7 million liters of safe drinking water to Haiti, which has long suffered from lack of access to clean water, the problem being exacerbated throughout the last year due to civil unrest, severe flooding and heavy damage from hurricanes.
This timely grant should reduce the number of Haitians suffering from illnesses such as diarrhea and cholera induced by drinking contaminated water. In this project PUR will be distributed by PSI Haiti through their network of women's groups.
According to P&G's associate director for Corporate Sustainable Development in Europe, Dr. Peter White, "We are delighted to have received this grant from DFID to help improve the lives of those in Haiti. With our partners we have made significant progress with PUR and we will continue to focus our efforts in countries where clean water is desperately needed."
Amelia Shaw, PSI Haiti added, "In Gonaives, PSI distributed more than 410,000 sachets following the flooding last September. After using PUR regularly for one month, one woman from the flood zone commented, "Before, my stomach hurt all the time. But now it doesn't hurt anymore. To think, I didn't even know you could live like that, without pain in your belly."
Welcoming the announcement of the grant, Hilary Benn, UK Secretary of State for International Development, said: "Hundreds of people have been killed and nearly half a million people have lost their homes in the aftermath of the floods in Haiti. Only 10 per cent of Haitians get piped water in their homes so our contribution will help to ensure those affected will now have access to safe drinking water. Waterborne disease such as diarrhea kills nearly half of all infants in rural areas of Haiti, but by working in partnership with P&G Health Science Institute and NGO's, we will give people a better quality of life and hope for the future."