Water.org has announced a $4.72 million grant from Twitter and Square co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey in support of efforts to provide COVID-19 relief and expand access to safe water and sanitation across Africa.
Awarded through Dorsey's #startsmall initiative, the grant will enable people living in poverty to access small, affordable loans and install water and sanitation solutions for their homes. With a focus on enhancing opportunity for women and children in Africa, where six hundred million people lack access to a safely managed water supply, the funding will help promote resilience to illness and disease, including COVID-19, by providing easy access to handwashing facilities; improve health; boost family incomes; empower women; and increase access to education. To date, Water.org and its partners have provided $2.5 billion in such loans to borrowers around the globe, 87 percent of whom are women.
According to the #startsmall tracker, grants awarded in February also include $4 million to Bread of Life, Inc., which, in partnership with BeyGood, will assist families in Texas who have been impacted by the severe winter storm; $2.5 million to the Cheyenne River Youth Project to help fund the design, sustainable construction, and operation of the Waniyetu Wowapi Lakota Youth Arts & Culture Institute; $1 million to Emergent Works in support of skills training and job placement for formerly incarcerated individuals as software engineers; $1 million to Oxfam America for COVID-related food assistance and livelihood support; and $1 million to UnidosUS's Esperanza/Hope Fund, in support of COVID-19 relief and social justice efforts.