Water.org, the charitable clean water initiative started by Matt Damon and Gary White has recently received a big infusion from none other than the philanthropic arm of PepsiCo. The $8M donation, the largest in the Foundation’s 50-year history, will expand the organization’s WaterCredit micro-finance program – and fund clean water projects for more than 800,000 people by 2016.
The PepsiCo foundation earlier helped over 250,000 people with a $4.1M donation to Water.org back in 2008.
“There will never be enough charity in the world to solve this problem. What we need to do is double down on smart solutions like WaterCredit which can rapidly scale safe water and sanitation access for families that are in desperate need right now,” said Damon. “In the U.S., we have the luxury to debate and plan for water shortages and investments in our infrastructure. For billions, this is a daily nightmare and fight for survival. It’s visionary partners like the PepsiCo Foundation that recognize that and I hope their example inspires others to follow suit.”
Even former President Bill Clinton got in on the praise (and a little credit) saying, “I am proud that my Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting was able to serve as the catalyst for Water.org and PepsiCo’s commitment to providing clean drinking water around the world,” said Clinton. “It is partnerships like this that have helped CGI touch 400 million people in over 180 countries. This grant will help Water.org and PepsiCo help end the global water crisis —one of the most pressing and universal challenges of our time.”
Water.org also recently hooked up with The Huffington Post to secure their own “Water” section on the popular news site. “A section that will be dedicated to giving coverage to this cause, the doers, the solutions, and the discourse that is needed to change the world,” wrote Damon and White.
To learn more about the water crisis and what Damon and White are doing to help, check out this excellent interview with the actor below.