The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation has announced a five-year, $50 million commitment to help improve water conditions for more than one million people in sub-Saharan Africa and areas of India and Mexico.
Announced in conjunction with World Water Day on Tuesday, the grant will support a three-part strategy to deliver access to clean water, increase advocacy and capacity, and expand knowledge on best practices for communities, governments, nongovernmental organizations, and donors. The pledge builds on the foundation's twenty-year commitment to increase access to safe drinking water in developing countries. By building water systems, training community members, and supporting water treatment research, the foundation seeks to build local capacity for ongoing water quality testing and management.
As part of the commitment, the foundation awarded grants to WaterAid America and World Vision to build sustainable safe water sources in the West African countries of Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali, and Niger, as well as to educate communities on sanitation and hygiene; the African Regional Centre for Water and Sanitation to assess the functionality of two thousand existing Hilton-sponsored wells and develop long-term sustainability guidelines for current and future projects; and Water.org for a comprehensive communication and advocacy program. In addition, the New York City-based Foundation Center received a grant to build a Web-based platform that will serve as a central hub for information about water-related issues in an effort to attract more donors to support sustainable global water projects.
"The programs we are funding will employ innovative and appropriate technologies to scale up safe water provision, develop tools to enhance water programming, foster partnerships, generate and share knowledge, and support advocacy," said Hilton Foundation president and CEO Steven M. Hilton at a World Water Day event. "World Water Day is pivotal in drawing attention to a serious global crisis. But, for us, every day is World Water Day, and our goal is to help bring about a world where every person has clean and safe water."