, a program of , has announced the launch of a $50 million social impact investment fund.
With the goal of raising and deploying social impact investment capital to scale Water.org's proven solution, the WaterCredit Investment Fund 3 (WCIF3) will provide affordable debt capital to social enterprises — including microfinance institutions (MFIs) — in India, Indonesia, Cambodia, and the Philippines. The fund, which is projected to provide at least 4.6 million people in South and Southeast Asia with access to safe water and/or sanitation services, will target investments in enterprises with significant capacity to scale, a strong financial track record, and a deep reach into the neediest populations. To date, the Bank of America has committed to providing $5 million in zero-interest loans for the fund.
Over the last fifteen years, the WaterCredit solution has provided $17 million in subsidies to sixty-five local MFIs across nine countries. Those MFIs, in turn, have attracted $280 million in local investment capital and made more than a million small, affordable loans to families so that they can pay for a water connection and/or toilet at home. WaterEquity's inaugural $11 million WCIF1 fund, launched in 2014, has helped more than a hundred thousand people.
"At Water.org and WaterEquity, we think about the billions of people who are living and dying for water and sanitation access a bit differently than a traditional charity — we see them as customers with financial power, rights, and the energy to design their own futures," said Matt Damon, co-founder of Water.org and WaterEquity. "We see them as catalysts for change."
"WaterEquity demonstrates the profound impact we can all have by leveling the playing field for the world's poor to gain access to affordable financing to meet their water and sanitation needs," said Gary White, co-founder and CEO of WaterEquity and Water.org. "The launch of WCIF3 brings us one step closer to creating a more financially inclusive ecosystem around water and sanitation that can end the global water crisis in our lifetime."