Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Clinton Global Initiative Part 2: Water!

Hot from the Press Office of the Clinton Foundation:

Opening Day of Third Annual CGI Brings Commitments in Every Focus Area Affecting Lives Around the Globe

One commitment caught my eye:

Procter & Gamble, working with partner organizations in the Children’s Safe Drinking Water program, will provide sachets to purify an estimated 2 billion liters of water. By using the easily accessible system, the program will help prevent 80 million days of diarrhea illness and save 10,000 lives by 2012. The $20 million project follows a 2006 commitment by P&G to work with partners to provide safe drinking water and hygiene education to 1 million children in Africa by 2009.

Great to see that first CGI commitment to water, building on P&G’s meeting its commitment from last year.

But wait…

The Dow Chemical Company will provide $30 million of loan guarantees to support the financing of up to 2,000 community water systems, serving 11 million people in India through WaterHealth International (WHI). For the past two years, WHI has provided sustainable, low cost community-based water systems to rural villages in India. WHI has installed 100 systems and partners with local NGOs to provide water and sanitation education. Dow’s commitment will help to extend WHI’s reach well beyond the current projections of 3,000 systems over the next five years.

And one more commitment to ponder:

Lalique will establish a fundraising campaign, BELIEVE, that will collect donations from a percentage of sales revenue taken from each brand’s exclusive products and services. Funds gathered from donations will be shared with an alliance of poverty alleviation charities that relieve the needs of people in developing countries. Lalique’s CEO, Guillaume Gauthereau, was inspired to make this commitment by remarks made at a CGI press conference in early 2007 where it was stated that $1 in the developing world is equivalent to $100 in developed economies. BELIEVE aims to raise $1 million to alleviate poverty.

Who wants to go see Monsieur Gauthereau and brief him on safe drinking water and sanitation, and its tremendous multiplier effect on sustainable development throughout the developing world?

I am surprised in this writing about how heavily weighted these commitments are toward the role the corporate sector plays in global development. Private foundations tomorrow perhaps.

And will tomorrow see a major CGI commitment to diarrhea? Sleepless night ahead…

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