“The water crisis is a health crisis, it’s a farming crisis, it’s an economic crisis, it’s a climate crisis, and increasingly, it is a political crisis. And therefore, we must have an equally comprehensive response.” U.S. Secretary of State Hillary R. Clinton, excerpted from her speech on World Water Day 2011

“Sanitation is more important than independence.” Mahatma Gandhi

Around the world, 884 million people lack access to safe drinking water and 2.6 billion have inadequate sanitation.  The impact of inadequate water and sanitation stretches across all sectors of development: health, education, gender equality, economic development, food security and even national security.  Every 20 seconds, a child dies of preventable water-borne disease and the United Nations has estimated that, on average, 30% of each Millennium Development Goal depends on water and sanitation. For more information on the water and sanitation crisis, visit our Resources page.

To help address this fundamental challenge, GETF has prioritized the expansion of safe water and sanitation access as the cornerstone of our efforts. GETF supports a number of leading programs in the water and sanitation sector, including:

  • Global Water Challenge (GWC) is a coalition of leading organizations committed to achieving universal access to safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH).  GWC accelerates the delivery of safe water and sanitation through partnerships that catalyze financial support and drive innovation for sustainable solutions.  Principal Donor Members of Global Water Challenge include Cargill, The Coca-Cola Company, The Dow Chemical CompanyFord Motor Company, Kimberly-Clark, Merck and the Wallace Genetic Foundation.  The Global Environment & Technology Foundation serves as the executive secretariat of Global Water Challenge.
  • The Replenish Africa Initiative (RAIN) is the signature community initiative of The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation.  Backed by a six-year, $30 million dollar commitment by The Coca-Cola Company, in partnership with other donors, RAIN’s goal is to provide over 2 million people in Africa with access to drinking water by 2015.  GETF provides strategic and management support to RAIN.
  • The Water and Development Alliance (WADA) is a unique partnership between The Coca-Cola Company and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) that addresses community water needs in developing countries around the world.  In conjunction with local USAID Missions and Coca-Cola system partners, and with support from GETF, WADA contributes to protecting and improving the sustainability of watersheds, increasing access to water supply and sanitation services for the world’s poor and enhancing productive uses of water. With a combined investment of $28.1 million since 2005, WADA is having a positive impact on the lives of people and the health of ecosystems in 22 countries worldwide, 16 of which are in Africa.
  • The Global Environment Facility (GEF) unites 182 member governments — in partnership with international institutions, nongovernmental organizations and the private sector — to address global environmental issues. GETF supports the program management of nutrient reduction programs within GEF’s international waters portfolio.
  • Water of Life is one of Diageo’s flagship Corporate Social Responsibility programs.  GETF assisted Water of Life through the development and management of Safe Water for Africa, a partnership with The Coca-Cola Company, the International Finance Corporation and WaterHealth International to scale up innovative water service delivery models across Africa.  Water of Life is part of Diageo’s overall initiative to address its impact on water through a three prong strategic ‘Blueprint’ designed to affect substantial, sustainable and measurable change through community involvement, direct operations and collective action.  Through the ‘1 million challenge’ it aspires to extend access to clean water to 1 million new people in Africa every year through 2015.  For more information, click here to see the Water of Life website.