The first asset manager exclusively focused on solving the global water crisis, WaterEquity deploys capital from financial institutions and social enterprises in support of safe water and sanitation solutions for millions of low-income families globally. According to the organization, the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated funding shortages for water and sanitation projects just as the need for frequent handwashing has never been more acute. Among other things, the foundation's "catalytic investment" will unlock an additional $100 million in institutional funding for water and sanitation microfinance loans made by the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation.
Created by Water.org co-founders Gary White and Matt Damon, WaterEquity has made thirty investments through its impact investment funds since 2016 — investments that have benefited 1.6 million people in India, Indonesia, and Cambodia. In a blog post, WaterEquity chief investor relations officer Alix-Ines Lebec and Skoll Foundation chief strategy officer Shivani Garg Patel called on "asset owners...to invest directly in scalable solutions to one of the world's most immediate problems."
"We cannot wait for the dust to settle, or the pandemic to end, to act. Doing so needlessly puts millions of people at risk," Lebec and Patel add. "Foundations and family offices are among those now in a position to follow the lead of Skoll and WaterEquity to invest directly in projects that can reduce illness and death, and also reduce poverty in the most vulnerable communities."
(Photo credit: Skoll Foundation/WaterEquity)