WaterAid and H&M Foundation join forces for sustainable water, toilets and hygiene in poor communities

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The H&M Foundation and WaterAid are embarking on the second phase of our global partnership for safe water, sanitation and hygiene in some of the world’s poorest communities, with a goal to achieve long-term transformational change and lasting results. The program is a continuation of the partnership first started in 2014.

In the second phase of WaterAid’s partnership with the H&M Foundation, the project will be broadened to take a more holistic approach to ensuring sustainable access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene for people in their communities, their homes, health care facilities and in schools.

The goal of this global program is to improve the wellbeing and living conditions of some of the world’s poorest people. The program focuses on sustainability by targeting the root causes of people’s poor access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene.

At the local level, the program will target four countries; Cambodia, Ethiopia, Pakistan and Uganda and aims to reach 150,000 people with safe water and sanitation. By drawing on best practices, case studies and lessons learned from the work in these countries, WaterAid will seek to further the sustainability agenda globally through advocacy and influencing of key stakeholders on national and global levels for sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene services.

About the partnership with the H&M Foundation

WaterAid and the H&M Foundation first partnered in 2014 on a 60 million SEK (9.2 million AUD) three-year program to bring transformational change to more than 250,000 students around the world. The program also engaged a wide range of partners and helped influence and update national education policies in the program countries, as well as the global United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Now in its second phase, the foundation will donate another 60 million SEK (9.2 million AUD) for the next-three year program 2017-2020.

Rosie Wheen, Chief Executive of WaterAid Australia, said about the partnership:

“Every day 900 children under the age of five die from diarrhoea caused by dirty water and poor sanitation. With this generous funding from H&M Foundation we will be able to transform the lives of some of the world’s poorest people by improving their wellbeing and living conditions - not only today but tomorrow and for many years to come. The program will demonstrate how targeted efforts contribute to achieving a much bigger goal – safe water, decent toilets and improved hygiene for everyone, everywhere.”

Diana Amini, Global Manager of the H&M Foundation, comments on the partnership with WaterAid:

”Lack of access to water, sanitation and hygiene is a huge global issue and a priority for the H&M Foundation. But it’s not something that any single organisation or company can solve – it requires global collaboration by governments, NGOs, civil societies and businesses. By partnering with WaterAid we have been able to make a real difference to individuals and communities, but also to contribute to the systemic change needed globally and nationally”.

About WaterAid
WaterAid’s vision is of a world where everyone, everywhere has safe water, sanitation and hygiene. The international organisation works in countries across Africa, Asia, Central America and the Pacific region to transform lives by improving access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene in some of the world’s poorest communities. Since 1981, WaterAid has reached 24 million people with safe water and, since 2004, 24 million people with sanitation. For more information, visit: www.wateraid.org/au

About the H&M Foundation

The H&M Foundation is a non-profit global foundation, privately funded by the Stefan Persson family, founders and main owners of H&M. It’s an independent legal entity operating beyond the company’s value chain with its own staff, strategy and board.

The mission of the H&M Foundation is to drive long lasting positive change and improve living conditions by investing in people, communities and innovative ideas. Through partnerships with experienced organisations around the world, the H&M Foundation works within the areas of Education, Water, Equality and Planet. In addition to this, we can also provide emergency relief.

Since 2013, the family has donated SEK 1.1 billion (AUD 169 million) to the H&M Foundation.