The World Health Organization estimates that at least two billion people—about one-quarter of the world’s population—lack access to safe drinking water, which is a major source of disease and death, and poses significant economic impacts. In many countries the burden of collecting a clean source of water falls disproportionately on women and girls, limiting their ability to attend school or work outside the home. In addition, drought related to climate change is exacerbating water shortages in many parts of the world.

Solution and Impact

DFC committed an up to $10 million equity investment to Water Access Acceleration Fund to expand access to affordable and safe drinking water by investing in social enterprises that are providing potable water solutions in low and lower-middle income countries in the Indo-Pacific and Africa.

The fund, which is managed by Incofin Investment Management NV, is investing across a range of businesses, including those that provide water from stationary or mobile kiosks; develop decentralized piping infrastructure companies that expand on-demand access to clean water; and as water technology companies that provide treatment such as water purifiers or purification tablets. The fund will also support hybrid businesses that increase the efficiency of a variety of water businesses, such as by monitoring water quality or leakage or by introducing mobile billing and payment services.

Water Access Acceleration Fund will support businesses that have established proof-of-concept in Africa and South-South East Asia, with a focus on Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, Rwanda, and Uganda.

The fund aims to provide 20 billion liters of safe drinking water to 30 million people by 2030.