Empowering 500,000 for safe water

The Caterpillar Foundation expands partnership with new commitment to Water.org. Through this remarkable partnership we will accelerate our impact significantly and empower nearly 500,000 people with access to safe water and sanitation.

News Release


Caterpillar Foundation Expands Partnership with Water.org

PEORIA, IL and KANSAS CITY, MO (October 17, 2013). Water.org is pleased to announce an expansion of its partnership with the Caterpillar Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) with a new grant of $8.3 million to launch its WaterCredit model in Indonesia, Philippines, and Peru. The Foundation's commitment expands upon its existing partnership with Water.org which began in 2011 with a $3 million grant to scale WaterCredit in India. This is the largest single commitment in the history of Water.org. Collectively, these two grants from the Caterpillar Foundation will enable Water.org to accelerate its impact significantly, and empower nearly 500,000 people with access to safe water and sanitation.

Pioneered in 2003, WaterCredit puts microfinance tools to work in the water and sanitation sector. Through this market-based model, a family living in poverty can gain access to a small loan to pay for the construction of a water connection or toilet in their home. Having access to this basic necessity - in or near the home - enables a life of health, economic opportunity, and dignity. WaterCredit empowers the world's most vulnerable to take ownership of their future and accelerates large-scale and sustainable progress against the global water and sanitation crisis.

"The sustainability and stability of communities in developing countries is crucial to the long-term success of our world. There are seven billion people on the planet, and 780 million don't have access to the most basic element of life - clean water. We can't eliminate poverty without it and economies can't grow. That's why we invest with Water.org," said Caterpillar Foundation President Michele Sullivan.

The Caterpillar Foundation's pledge will support Water.org's global expansion strategy that draws on a diverse network of local partners, including financial service providers such as commercial financial institutions, microfinance institutions and water and sanitation non-governmental organizations.

A critical component of this partnership centers on empowering women and girls, and a primary reason why the Caterpillar Foundation and Water.org came together. "For the past 23 years, women have played a leading role in the design and execution of Water.org's community-led water and sanitation programs. Today, 93 percent of WaterCredit loan borrowers are women. We are proud that partners like the Caterpillar Foundation can support the growth of our WaterCredit initiative, which is empowering girls and women worldwide," said Water.org CEO and Co-Founder, Gary White.

"Having household access to clean, running water not only keeps families healthy and productive, it gives back countless hours to girls and women that they can use to further their education or start a business. The ancillary benefits of convenient access to clean water are staggering," said Caterpillar Foundation President Michele Sullivan.

The ripple effect of the Caterpillar Foundation's grant will be significant, enabling hundreds of thousands of people to gain access to the safe water and sanitation solutions they need. WaterCredit programs impact twice the number of people than could have been reached using other, more traditional approaches, all while reducing the philanthropic cost per person served by nearly 50 percent. Water.org's program with the Caterpillar Foundation builds on this achievement.

The Caterpillar Foundation

Caterpillar Inc. supports the philanthropic efforts of the Caterpillar Foundation. Founded in 1952, the Caterpillar Foundation has contributed more than $550 million to help make sustainable progress possible around the world by providing program support in the areas of environmental sustainability, access to education and basic human needs. More information is available at www.caterpillar.com/foundation

About Water.org

For more than two decades, Water.org has been at the forefront of developing and delivering solutions to the 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 a million individuals living around the world; ensuring a better life for generations ahead.

About WaterCredit

WaterCredit is an initiative of Water.org that puts microfinance tools to use in the water and sanitation sector. It is the first comprehensive program of its kind in the world that connects the microfinance, water and sanitation communities to scale up access to credit and capital for individual- and household-based water and sanitation needs across multiple countries. In turn, the WaterCredit partnership model and financing mechanisms serve to channel and redeploy financial resources more efficiently and effectively to enable increasing numbers of people to meet their drinking water and sanitation needs. Learn more at http://watercredit.org and http://water.org/watercredit.