Water.org and The MasterCard Foundation

Water.org and The MasterCard Foundation accelerate Microfinance for clean water in Africa. The $3.6 million innovative partnership will benefit communities in Kenya and Uganda.

Kansas City, MO (November 3, 2010) – Water.org and The MasterCard Foundation have launched a $3.6 million partnership to bring clean drinking water and sanitation services to people in Sub-Saharan Africa over the next four years. This partnership will enable one of the largest WaterCredit initiatives to-date and is anticipated to mobilize over $15 million of additional commercial and social capital into the water and sanitation sector in these countries. Water.org’s WaterCredit program, which facilitates microfinance for water and sanitation, continues to gain momentum in Africa and southern Asia for bringing services to those living in poverty.

“Water.org’s client-centered and community-based approach makes it a perfect partner for The MasterCard Foundation,” said Reeta Roy, President and CEO, The MasterCard Foundation. “This program will enable microfinance providers to innovate and offer both savings and credit products to help the poor access clean water and sanitation.”

The partnership with The MasterCard Foundation will facilitate one of the largest expansions of water and sanitation microfinance to-date in Sub-Saharan Africa. In addition to providing client services, the program is designed to increase the capabilities of microfinance institutions (MFIs) in the region while developing and deploying cross-sector forums, toolkits, exposure visits, and impact evaluations. Program work began in October 2010 in Kenya and will be followed with a phased expansion in Uganda.

“Water.org is excited to be working with The MasterCard Foundation on this most important initiative,” said Water.org Executive Director and Co-Founder Gary White. “Together, we’ll not only be reaching people in Kenya and Uganda with safe water and sanitation, but also facilitating a commercial market for water and sanitation loans that will enable countless others to achieve access in the future.”

About Water.org

Celebrating its 20th year, Water.org is a non-profit organization that has transformed hundreds of communities in Africa, South Asia, and Central America by providing access to safe water and sanitation. Founded by Matt Damon and Gary White, Water.org works with local partners to deliver innovative solutions for long-term success. Its microfinance-based WaterCredit Initiative is pioneering sustainable giving in the sector. Learn more and make a difference at http://www.water.org/.

About The MasterCard Foundation

The MasterCard Foundation believes that every person has the potential to transform their lives and to improve the lives of their families and their communities. By increasing access to microfinance and youth education to people in developing countries, the foundation is enabling them to realize their potential and lift themselves out of poverty. It is an independent, private foundation based in Toronto, Canada and was established through the generosity of MasterCard Worldwide at the time of the company’s initial public offering in 2006. For more information, see http://www.mastercardfdn.org/.

Capital city: Nairobi
Population of 45 million
17.5 million lack safe water
31.7 million have no sanitation services
Infant mortality rate of 4.1%
43.4% live in poverty

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