In 2014, IKEA Foundation partnered with Water.org and awarded € 4.7 million ($6.3 million) to improve the health and well-being of nearly 180,000 vulnerable people in Bangladesh by ensuring they can access safe water and sanitation. More specifically, the IKEA Foundation's grant will allow Water.org to help people in Bangladesh gain access to safe drinking water through WaterCredit - a microfinance program that gives families small loans to meet their water and sanitation needs.
WaterCredit by Water.org puts microfinance tools to work in the water and sanitation sector, empowering the world's most vulnerable with access to small loans to meet their water and sanitation needs – enabling a life of health, economic opportunity and dignity. An investment in WaterCredit reaches five to ten times as many people as a traditional grant over a ten-year period. To date, Water.org has invested US $8 million (€ 5.8 million) in philanthropic capital in WaterCredit, which has in turn leveraged US $40 million (€ 29.2 million) in commercial capital. Additionally, WaterCredit has made it possible for more than one million people in five countries to gain access to safe water or sanitation.