The Los Angeles-based Conrad N. Hilton Foundation has awarded $13 million to nongovernmental organizations that are delivering clean drinking water and sanitation systems in Africa.
Building on an ongoing initiative, the new programs are expected to deliver potable water to nearly 1.6 million people over the next five years. The grants will also address water development in Ethiopia, an area of critical need in East Africa, while filling gaps in the foundation's current projects in three West African countries.
The majority of the new grants ($7.2 million) will go to the Millennium Water Program in Ethiopia, a consortium of the Millennium Water Alliance, which will serve as secretariat for the initiative. The alliance includes World Vision, CARE, Living Water International, and WaterAid. In addition, the World Vision Ethiopia Water and Sanitation program will receive $5.2 million for its work in seven districts where the foundation is funding a control program for trachoma. The remaining $523,000 was awarded to WaterAid and Messiah College to strengthen the West Africa Water Initiative.
To increase their effectiveness, the grants will be matched by other contributions. "We are pleased to see a groundswell of interest in water issues by foundations, corporations, NGOs, and other donors," said foundation president and CEO Steven M. Hilton.