To commemorate World Water Day on March 22 and raise awareness of the more than 1.1 billion people worldwide who lack access to clean drinking water, the Seattle-based Starbucks Coffee Company has announced two $1 million grants to benefit clean-water programs in India and Kenya.
Through its Ethos Water Fund, the Starbucks Foundation awarded $1 million to WaterAid in India to help develop an integrated approach to water- and sanitation-related health problems for an estimated 120,000 people living in eighty rural villages and forty urban slums in the central state of Madhya Pradesh; and $1 million to International Medical Corps to help improve the overall health status of vulnerable communities in the Samburu district of Kenya by providing water, hygiene, and sanitation services to as many as 45,000 people.
In addition, the foundation announced that the fund will receive 5 cents for each bottle of Starbucks-owned Ethos natural spring water purchased in a Starbucks store. The funds support Starbucks' goals of contributing at least $10 million by 2010 to nonprofit organizations working to alleviate the world water crisis.
"By purchasing Ethos water, customers have been part of this opportunity to make a difference in the lives of children and their communities around the world who need access to clean water," said Starbucks president and CEO Jim Donald. "Starbucks hopes to help raise awareness and be a significant collaborator in support of solutions to help alleviate the world water crisis."