HSBC is investing to help provide access to safe water

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The five-year programme, launched by HSBC Group Chairman Douglas Flint, involves working in a groundbreaking partnership with WWF, WaterAid and Earthwatch.

The launch of the HSBC Water Programme coincided with the release of a report by Frontier Economics, which showed that every $1 invested in water infrastructure can deliver nearly $5 of wider economic benefits over the long term, in addition to the social and environmental benefits.

Frontier Economics, an economics consultancy with wide experience of the water industry, was commissioned by HSBC to research the links between investment in water projects and economic growth.

Frontier believes that in some African countries, the investment required to secure universal access to water would be paid back in only three years.

Nearly 800 million people globally lack access to safe water, and 2.5 billion lack access to basic sanitation.

With the support of the $100m HSBC Water Programme, three non-governmental organisations (NGOs) will carry out projects in both developed and growing markets:

  • WWF will work with over a thousand businesses and over a hundred thousand fishers and farmers in five river basins in Asia, East Africa and South America to promote more efficient use of water in their practices
  • Earthwatch will set up research projects in over 20 cities worldwide, working with local conservation partners to address urban water management issues. Thousands of HSBC employees and their wider local communities will take part
  • WaterAid will help 1.1 million people gain access to safe water and 1.9 million to improved hygiene and sanitation in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Nigeria and Ghana

Mr Flint explains that the Water Programme's immediate humanitarian and environmental benefits can also lead to broad, long-term economic development. This is good for the health of the global economy as well as those businesses and communities that will be directly involved.

You can find out more about the HSBC Water Programme by following this link

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