The US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) has released the first $25 Million USD of its $100 Million USD commitment to the WaterEquity Global Access Fund.
WaterEquity was formed in 2019 by actor Matt Damon and social entrepreneur Gary White. It is the first-ever impact investment manager with an exclusive focus on ending the global water crisis.
The Fund is a $150 Million USD impact investment vehicle that targets inclusive financial institutions in emerging markets to scale up water and sanitation microloan portfolios.
The financing is expected "to empower at least five million people to access improved household water and sanitation across Asia, Latin America, and Africa".
“We are proud to work collaboratively with WaterEquity, which has pioneered a financially sustainable way to increase access to safe water and sanitation, especially for women and marginalized populations,” said vice president of DFC’s Office of External Affairs and head of global gender initiatives Algene Sajery.
The DFC says that the WaterEquity Global Access fund supports its 2X Women’s Initiative, which it describes as "a commitment to unlock a multi-trillion dollar investment opportunity by addressing the unique challenges women in developing countries face in accessing loans".
Paul O’Connell, President of WaterEquity said: “Ten percent of the world’s population lacks access to safe water, and one-quarter lacks access to a toilet," adding: "The burden of this crisis falls disproportionately on women. We believe that capital markets offer the best way to increase access to safe water and sanitation."
This first disbursement coincides with the first close of WaterEquity’s Global Access Fund, which has to date secured $125 Million USD in investments toward its $150 Million USD total market capitalization.
The United States International Development Finance Corporation is the development finance institution of the United States federal government, primarily responsible for providing and facilitating the financing of private development projects in lower- and middle-income countries. DFC was formed in 2019 through the merger of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation and the Development Credit Authority of USAID.
Photo credit: Water.org