IKEA Foundation commits $13.9M to expand WaterCredit

(Kansas City, March 22, 2016) – IKEA Foundation today, World Water Day, announced a new grant to Water.org to expand efforts to provide safe water and sanitation to one million people in India and Indonesia. IKEA Foundation is committing $13.9 million to Water.org to expand its WaterCredit model, helping families have access to small, affordable loans so they can meet their water and sanitation needs.

“Our work at Water.org has never been more important, and thanks to this grant from the IKEA Foundation, we are going to help hundreds of thousands of kids gain access to safe water and sanitation and impact their lives forever,” said Matt Damon, Co-founder of Water.org. IKEA Foundation’s partnership with Water.org began in 2013 in Bangladesh. Since then, the partnership has grown. “With support from IKEA Foundation, Water.org is able to activate every element of our global WaterCredit expansion strategy,” said Alix-Ines Lebec, Director of Strategic Alliances for Water.org. “IKEA Foundation trusts our model and supports our vision to tackle the water crisis in ways that are smart and scalable.”

IKEA Foundation’s contributions will scale Water.org’s WaterCredit model at an unprecedented level, helping to break down the barriers between people and access to safe water and sanitation. Thanks to the WaterCredit model, one million people—hundreds of thousands of whom are children—will have life’s most basic necessities, giving women hope, children health and communities a future in which to thrive.

For IKEA Foundation, this commitment is part of a larger effort to help the world’s poorest communities lift themselves out of poverty. Per Heggenes, IKEA Foundation CEO said, “IKEA Foundation believes that every child deserves a healthy start in life, so we are supporting Water.org’s innovative program to help families in Bangladesh, India and Indonesia access safe water and better sanitation facilities, giving them improved health and a life of dignity.”

“By supporting the development of game-changing approaches like WaterCredit, the IKEA Foundation is helping drive the critical innovation needed to end the water and sanitation crisis,” said Gary White, Water.org Co-Founder and CEO. And that support has the power to help the most vulnerable unlock potential for themselves and others, and transform the world.

One of 10 new partnerships in 2015

This commitment is part of a larger effort by IKEA Foundation to help the world’s poorest communities lift themselves out of poverty. In 2015, IKEA Foundation gave $132 million to support children’s programmes in some of the world’s poorest communities. The partnership with Water.org is one example of the Foundation’s approach to creating prosperity for children and families all over the world.

Per Heggenes, CEO of IKEA Foundation stated, “We provided $132 million in grants to our 49 partners in 2015, part of our $1.1 billion commitment through 2020. By addressing children’s fundamental needs—for home, health, education and a sustainable family income—we are helping them to create better futures for themselves and their families, while helping their communities overcome the impacts of climate change.”

Another important highlight from 2015 includes the IKEA Foundation’s commitment for climate action. IKEA Foundation announced a $440 million new funding commitment through 2020 to help the world’s poorest communities adapt to and overcome the impacts of climate change. In the years to come, the Foundation will help communities build resilient and innovative infrastructure to protect them during disasters and push ahead on bold renewable-energy experiments to benefit entire communities. The new climate funding commitment will also include programmes to help farmers in Asia and Africa adopt climate-sensitive techniques that increase quality, yield and nutritional value of their crops while decreasing waste. Lastly, the Foundation will continue to motivate corporations, investment firms and average citizens to be proactive and make a positive contribution to global efforts meant to tackle climate change.

To get your copy of the 2015 Annual Review, go here.

About the IKEA Foundation The IKEA Foundation (Stichting IKEA Foundation) is the philanthropic arm of INGKA Foundation, the owner of the IKEA Group of companies. We aim to improve opportunities for children and youth in some of the world’s poorest communities by funding holistic, long-term programmes that can create substantial, lasting change. The IKEA Foundation works with strong strategic partners applying innovative approaches to achieve large-scale results in four fundamental areas of a child’s life: a place to call home; a healthy start in life; a quality education; and a sustainable family income. Learn more at www.ikeafoundation.org and www.facebook.com/IKEAfoundation

About Water.org For more than 20 years, Water.org has been at the forefront of developing and delivering solutions to the global water crisis. Founded by Gary White and Matt Damon, Water.org pioneers innovative, community-driven and market-based initiatives to ensure all people have access to safe water and sanitation -- giving women hope, children health and communities a future. To date, Water.org has positively transformed the lives of more than 3 million people around the world, ensuring a better life for generations ahead. Learn more at http://water.org/ and www.facebook.com/water.

About WaterCredit WaterCredit by Water.org puts financial tools to work in the water and sanitation sector. It allows people in need to access small loans for water connections or toilets, empowering them to accelerate change in their own homes and communities. Here is how it works: ‒ Water.org partners with carefully selected microfinance institutions who provide loans to a person or family in need for water connections or toilets. ‒ The loans through WaterCredit are affordable, making them easy to repay. ‒ Once the loan is repaid, it can go to the next person who needs it. It is a pay-it-forward system that makes it possible to help more and more people in ways that will last. Learn more here.

Population of 255.7 million
33 million lack safe water
100 million lack sanitation
43% of the total population lives on less than US$2 per day
Capital: Jakarta