SEATTLE (February 18, 2021) Despite the challenging year operating in a global pandemic, World Vision is celebrating the achievement of a major milestone towards the goal of providing basic clean water access to everyone, everywhere they work by 2030. Today, the organization announced that it has achieved its goal of bringing clean water to 20 million people worldwide.
This ambitious five-year goal was announced in 2016 to keep the organization on track towards its overarching goal of bringing clean water to everyone, everywhere they work by 2030, which would reach around 50 million people. Along the way, World Vision became the leading non-governmental provider of clean water, reaching one new person with clean water every 10 seconds.
Access to clean water and hygiene helps solve the many factors that perpetuate poverty –like nutrition, health, education, and being able to generate income. Every day more than 800 children die from diarrhea caused by contaminated water, poor sanitation and unsafe hygiene practices. More than one out of every 10 people on the planet do not have access to clean water and there are 3 billion people without basic handwashing facilities with soap and water, which is critical for preventing diseases like COVID-19. In addition, the global water crisis disproportionately impacts women and girls who spend an estimated 200 million hours hauling water every day.
“We are thankful to God and our faithful donors that even a global pandemic could not hinder our progress. In fact, the pandemic emphasized the need to reach people with clean water and handwashing hygiene to curb the spread of the deadly virus. This increased urgency meant we were able to exceed our targets for providing handwashing facilities in schools, healthcare facilities, and households this year,” said Edgar Sandoval Sr., President and CEO of World Vision U.S. “Together we share the vision of ending the Global Water Crisis in our lifetime and this brings us one step closer to that goal.”
The representative 20 millionth person to receive clean water from World Vision is Loveness Phiri from Zambia. With access to clean water, Phiri will no longer have to wake up at 4am to walk the long distance to fetch dirty water for her family. This has given her hours of time in her day where she has now started a business selling food.
“I am now a business woman, thanks to World Vision; our lives will never be the same because of the borehole they have provided for us,” said Phiri.
In 2020, World Vision reached 3.4 million people with sustainable sources of clean water, 1.8 million people with water during emergency situations and 2.7 million people with improved sanitation. To combat virus spread, the organization nearly doubled their original targets by reaching 8.2 million people with hygiene promotion and provided handwashing facilities to over 4,700 schools. They also equipped nearly 1 million households with handwashing facilities. In efforts to protect vital frontline healthcare workers, handwashing facilities were constructed at nearly 2,500 healthcare clinics.
Other accomplishments contributing towards this goal was completing a $30 million fundraising campaign towards finishing the job of providing clean water to everyone everywhere World Vision works in Rwanda by 2022. In efforts to invest in more sustainable and cost-effective technology, the organization partnered with Grundfos to also reach 2 million people in Africa with solar-powered, mechanized water systems.
It costs an average $50 per person to provide sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene education. Therefore, this milestone required a $1 billion investment over 5 years that has transformed millions of lives. The next goal is to reach 25 million people by 2023, which would bring World Vision halfway towards its goal of reaching 50 million people with clean water.
About World Vision:
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization conducting relief, development, and advocacy activities in its work with children, families, and their communities in nearly 100 countries to help them reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender. For more information, please visit www.WorldVision.org/media-center/ or on Twitter @WorldVisionUSA.