COVID-19 Resilience Fund
The most powerful action you can take right now to help build resilience and hope for families living in poverty is to invest in the Water.org COVID-19 Resilience Fund.
We have identified 50 immediate projects that will help the communities we serve build resilience to COVID-19 and other diseases. Your support will unleash Water.org’s ability to deliver these critical resources now, positively impacting millions of people living in poverty over the next three years.
The initial funding needs total $10 million. Contributions to the fund will be pooled and used flexibly to build resilience among those we serve, our organization, and across our partnerships.
We invite you to consider a philanthropic donation that will help ensure the resiliency of people living in poverty through access to critical water, sanitation and hygiene solutions in the next three years. Together, we can transform the lives of at least 5 million people in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
Water.org is ready to act
We created the COVID-19 Resilience Fund to respond to the pandemic in four key areas:
- Promote health and support resilience among those living in poverty through hygiene and behavior change messages, as well as advocating for improved public access and investment in water, sanitation, and handwashing facilities.
- Support an increase in resilience of our partners so that they will be able to continue offering critical water and sanitation loans to people in need.
- Advocate for stronger linkages between WASH (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene) and health to ensure governments focus resources on these vital, life-saving interventions.
- Seek new opportunities to drive impact in a COVID-transformed world through continued innovations on the ground to ensure even more people get access to affordable loans.
Our country teams have detailed plans and responses, and our global headquarters is focused on supporting innovations so we can reach even more people, faster, with water and sanitation access.
Now more than ever, access to safe water is critical
One in nine people around the world lack access to safe water and two billion people – one in three – don’t have a toilet. The impact of these deficiencies is devastating in normal times and exponentially more so in the midst of a global pandemic. This is critical because:
- Water and health are inextricably linked. We cannot have a comprehensive health response to COVID-19 without a comprehensive water and sanitation response. Ensuring that everyone has safe and consistent water, sanitation and hygiene practices is necessary to stop transmission of COVID-19 and other viruses. And water and sanitation at home is the first step.
- We are all interconnected. COVID-19 has brought into sharp focus that we are only as healthy as the most vulnerable among us.
- Access to affordable financing is a key barrier. Millions of people living in poverty pay high costs in both time and money because they do not have reliable access to water and sanitation at home. A small, affordable loan makes access at home possible.
COVID-19 has impacted Water.org, our local partners, and people without access to safe water and sanitation.
- Impact on the people we serve - COVID-19 is disproportionately affecting the people we serve — those living in poverty across Africa, Asia, and Latin America — because they are more vulnerable to the economic repercussions and limited access to medical care and water and sanitation at home.
- Impact on Water.org - The pandemic and resulting lockdowns in the countries where we work are slowing or halting economic activity, which means that fewer people can access loans for water and sanitation. Additionally, some of our funding commitments have been disrupted as donors and companies are saving and/or redirecting their giving in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic uncertainty.
- Impact on our partners - Many of our implementing partners are temporarily unable to reach new customers because of liquidity constraints and closures. Many have adjusted their operations, such as temporarily stopping lending, restructuring payments, halting the collection of loan payments, and providing emergency goods to vulnerable clients. Most of the water utilities we work with are continuing to provide services, whether people can pay or not, but it is unclear how long this can continue.
- Impact on the water and sanitation sector - The pandemic has required a significant shift in focus by governments toward reducing disease transmission and mitigating near-term effects, which could have short- and long-term negative impacts on increasing water and sanitation access. Opportunities to encourage public and private investments in water and sanitation among families living in poverty are critical.
Water.org’s response to the pandemic
We are evolving how we work in response to the pandemic so that, together with our partners, we can continue to change more lives with safe water and sanitation and build solutions needed for a resilient, sustainable tomorrow.
In the short-term, we are shifting activities to respond to the needs of our partners and the people we serve. We are working to improve the quality and quantity of hygiene activities, assist our partners in navigating COVID-19 impacts, and support policies and investments that connect water and sanitation with the responses of government and development finance institutions.
Over the medium- to long-term, we anticipate the focus on access to water and sanitation will intensify, as the demand for water, sanitation and hygiene solutions in homes, businesses, and public spaces will increase as a means for protecting more people from COVID-19. We play a critical role in helping to meet this urgent need.