WaterAid and H&M Foundation join forces for sustainable water, toilets and hygiene in poor communities

NEW YORK, NY–(Marketwired – May 30, 2017) – Today, the H&M Foundation and WaterAid are embarking on the second phase of our global partnership for safe water, sanitation and hygiene in some of the world’s poorest communities, with the goal to achieve long-term transformational change and improved living conditions. The program expands on an initiative that began in 2014.
In the second phase of WaterAid’s partnership with the H&M Foundation, we are broadening the scope with a holistic approach to enable sustainable access to water and sanitation services to people in their communities, in their homes, at healthcare facilities and in schools.
The primary goal of this global program is to improve the wellbeing and living conditions for some of the world’s poorest people by focusing on sustainable solutions. At the local level, we will be working in four target countries; Cambodia, Ethiopia, Pakistan and Uganda. Although our goals are similar in all four countries, given varying cultural, social and economic contexts, this will be done through different approaches and activities. By drawing on best practices, case studies and lessons learned from the work in these countries, WaterAid will seek to further the sustainability agenda globally through advocacy and the influencing of key stakeholders on national and global levels for sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene services.
WaterAid and the H&M Foundation partnered in 2014 on a three-year program to bring transformational change for more than 250,000 students across the world. The program also engaged a wide range of partners and helped influence and update national education policies in the countries where we were working, as well as the global Sustainable Development Goals. The H&M Foundation donated 60 million SEK to WaterAid between 2014-2017, and now embarking on the second phase, the foundation will donate another 60 million SEK between 2017-2020.
Jennifer Membreno, WaterAid’s Associate Director of Corporate Partnerships, comments on the partnership with H&M Foundation:
“With funding from the H&M Foundation, we will be able to transform the lives of some of the world’s poorest people by improving their wellbeing and living conditions — not only today, but tomorrow and for many years to come. The program will showcase how targeted efforts can successfully contribute to the fulfilment of the Sustainable Development Goals and WaterAid’s vision of a world where everyone, everywhere, will have safe water, decent toilets and improved hygiene.”
Diana Amini, Global Manager of the H&M Foundation, comments on the partnership with WaterAid:
“Lack of access to water, sanitation and hygiene is a huge global issue and a priority for the H&M Foundation. But it’s not something that any single organization or company can solve — it requires global collaboration by governments, NGOs, civil societies and businesses. By partnering with WaterAid we have been able to make a real difference to individuals and communities, but also to contribute to the systemic change needed globally and nationally.”
Notes to the Editor:
Key statistics:

663 million people in the world — one in ten — do not have clean water

Almost 2.4 billion people in the world — one in three — live without improved sanitation

Diarrhea is the second biggest killer of children under five years old globally. Around 315,000 children die each year from diarrhoeal diseases caused by dirty water and poor sanitation. That’s almost 900 children each day, or one child every two minutes. Nearly 9 out of 10 cases of diarrhea can be prevented by safe water, sanitation and hygiene

Every year diseases caused by dirty water kill more people than all forms of violence, including war. 43% of these deaths caused by disease are children under five

Globally, just 31% of schools have clean water and 34% have adequate toilets.
Access to clean water and sanitation could save approximately 842,000 lives every year

More than 1 out of 3 hospitals in developing countries don’t have clean water and soap for handwashing

If everyone everywhere had clean water, the number of diarrhoeal deaths would be cut by 34%

For every $1 invested in water and sanitation, an average of $4 is returned in increased productivity

Just $25 can help provide one person with access to safe water

About WaterAid
WaterAid’s vision is of a world where everyone has access to safe water and sanitation. The international organisation works in 37 countries across Africa, Asia, Central America and the Pacific Region to transform lives by improving access to safe water, hygiene and sanitation in some of the world’s poorest communities. We work in partnership with local organisations and influence decision makers to maximise impact. Since 1981, WaterAid has reached 23 million people with safe water and, since 2004, 21 million people with sanitation. For more information, visit www.wateraidamerica.org, follow @WaterAidAmerica on Twitter, or visit us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/wateraidamerica.
About the H&M Foundation
The H&M Foundation is a non-profit global foundation, privately funded by the Stefan Persson family, founders and main owners of H&M. It’s an independent legal entity operating beyond the company’s value chain with its own staff, strategy and board.
The mission of the H&M Foundation is to drive long lasting positive change and improve living conditions by investing in people, communities and innovative ideas. Through partnerships with experienced organizations around the world, the H&M Foundation works within the areas of Education, Water, Equality and Planet. In addition to this, we can also provide emergency relief.
Since 2013, the family has donated SEK 1.1 billion (USD 154 million/EUR 123 million) to the H&M Foundation.

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