WaterCredit is an initiative of Water.org that puts microfinance tools to work in the water and sanitation (watsan) sector. It is the first comprehensive program of its kind that connects the microfinance and watsan communities to scale up access to credit and capital for individual- and household-based watsan needs and does so with multiple models across multiple countries. Through WaterCredit, Water.org aims to channel and redeploy financial resources more efficiently, enabling increasing numbers of people to meet their water and sanitation needs through demand-driven, market-based services and reducing the need for never-ending subsidy.
WaterCredit seeks to tackle two related goals: lack of access to clean water and safe sanitation, and lack of access to finance to procure it among economically active poor people throughout the developing world. To date, the initiative has 24 active WaterCredit Partner Organizations in India (since 2004), Bangladesh (since 2003), Kenya (since 2005) and Uganda (since 2010), reflecting a blend of non-profit and for-profit entities.
Water.org is work directly with philanthropic donors and social and commercial investors to take WaterCredit to new levels of global scale. Water.org has continually grown its program and funding base, including a $4.1 million grant from PepsiCo Foundation (to seed WaterCredit in south Asia), a $3.6 million grant from The MasterCard Foundation (for WaterCredit expansion in east Africa), a $3 million grant from Caterpillar Foundation (for WaterCredit expansion in India and an assessment of Indonesia), and an additional landmark $8 million grant from PepsiCo Foundation (for further WaterCredit expansion in India).