Globally, research has shown that women spend a collective 200 million hours gathering water each day and 266 million hours daily traveling to or looking for a safe place to use the bathroom. These extended travel periods can leave women and girls at risk of attack and takes time away from other activities and pursuits. WaterEquity, an asset manager with a focus on the global water and sanitation crisis, specifically supports investments that maximize impact on women and girls.
WaterEquity’s Global Access Fund supports several financial institutions that focus on women. Komida, a savings and loan co-op in Indonesia, provides microloans exclusively to rural and low-income women. One village supported by Komida was more than 45 minutes away from a functioning bathroom, forcing community members to use the local river instead, resulting in negative health impacts for the community and beyond. Through Komida, women in the village were able to borrow microloans as low as $200. These funds empowered women to put funds toward household water and sanitation solutions including wells, piped water connections and private toilets for their families and communities.
WaterEquity – the sister organization of Water.org – is a nonprofit asset management organization that provides debt funds to microfinance institutions to make small, affordable loans to people in need of a connection to safe water or a toilet in their homes. Through an innovative program of the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation, Mercy Partnership Fund has supported WaterEquity’s Global Access Fund, which provides loans to high-performing financial institutions for the exclusive purpose of supplying microloans to millions of people who need access to water and sanitation.
WaterEquity is one of more than 60 mission-driven organizations in Mercy Partnership Fund’s global community investing portfolio.