Global Water Challenge and AMREF Health Africa Launch Women and Girl-Focused Impact Partnership

Program to Empower up to 125,000 Women and Girls in Coffee- and Tea-Growing Communities of Kenya and Tanzania

WASHINGTON, D.C. – October 15, 2021 – Today, as the world celebrates Global Handwashing Day, Global Water Challenge (GWC), with Amref Health Africa, launched a high impact community water partnership with support from The Starbucks Foundation to empower women and girls in coffee- and tea-growing communities of Kenya and Tanzania. This support is part of The Starbucks Foundation’s commitment to invest in at least 250,000 women and families in coffee-, tea- and cocoa-growing communities globally by 2025.

The partnership will improve the health and economic status of smallholder women farmers through improved access to water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH), the establishment of entrepreneurship groups and promote women’s leadership and training on various agriculture techniques, entrepreneurship skills and financial literacy.

Investments will be made in Kenya’s Embu, Meru and Tharaka-Nithi counties and Tanzania’s Kilolo and Mufindi districts (Iringa region). GWC and its women for water platform will manage the effort and collaborate with its partner, Amref Health Africa, to build the capacities of local partners and remove barriers to community WASH, education, health, and nutrition in these communities. In keeping with this year’s Global Handwashing Day, “Our future is at hand – Let’s move Forward Together,” the partnership will also enhance the delivery of safe water and sanitation and promote handwashing and improved hygiene behaviors – providing one of the most critical, frontline components for any effective response to COVID-19.

“Women’s empowerment through WASH is a proven approach for achieving community economic transformation and resilience,” said Monica Ellis, CEO of Global Water Challenge. “The Starbucks Foundation will be a vital catalytic partner for positively transforming these coffee- and tea-growing communities through clean water.”

“Gender equality and women’s and girls’ empowerment is a major priority for the work that we do across Africa. Women and girls are empowered when they have control over the resources to meet their WASH needs and participate in the provision of WASH services, “said Dr. Githinji Gitahi, Global CEO Amref Health Africa. “This partnership couldn’t have come at a better time because the impacts of climate change are increasingly testing the resilience of sanitation systems and the availability of safe water owing to floods, droughts and extreme weather patterns impacting vulnerable communities around the world,” he added.

For More Information

Global Water Challenge:
Madeline Flamik,

Amref Health Africa:
Elizabeth Ntonjira,

About AMREF Health Africa
Amref Health Africa, headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, is the largest Africa-based International Non-Governmental Organization. With a focus on increasing sustainable health access, Amref runs programs in over 35 countries in Africa, with lessons learnt over 60 years of engagement with governments, communities, and partners. Amref Health Africa also engages in program development, fundraising, partnership, advocacy, monitoring and evaluation, and has offices in Europe and North America as well as subsidiaries: Amref Flying DoctorsAmref Enterprises Limited and the Amref International University. For more information, please visit 

About Global Water Challenge (GWC)
Global Water Challenge (GWC) is a coalition of leading organizations deploying expertise and networks to achieve universal access to safe and affordable drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) in communities around the world. Since 2006, GWC has positively impacted more than 2 million people across Africa, the Americas and Asia with clean water access and its campaigns, tools, data, and best practices reach millions more. In collaboration with multi-sector partners, GWC engages for action – catalyzing financial resources and driving innovative programming for sustainable, local solutions. For more information, please visit

About women for water
Launched by Global Water Challenge (GWC), women for water is a clean water and women’s empowerment action platform advancing gender equity by empowering women and girls in 10,000 communities through water access, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) and life skills programs by 2030. Grounded on the pathbreaking Ripple Effect research, women for water galvanizes investment and collective action at the intersection of water and women’s empowerment and currently scales impact in 21 countries in Africa, North and South America, the Middle East and Central Asia. Join the platform on FacebookInstagram, Twitter and