We are proud to announce our pledge for over $2 million to support two clean water projects in communities where the we source coffee in Nicaragua. GMCR has joined forces with two non-profit organizations in northern Nicaragua to fund two potable water projects over the next five years. Both projects intend to increase community access to clean water, improve food security, and provide education on sanitation, nutrition, and environmental protection. According to the most recent Joint Monitoring Report by UNICEF and the World Health Organization, only 68% of people in rural Nicaragua have access to safe drinking water. Many families are forced to collect water from streams and unprotected wells. "Water For People" will work in the communities of San Rafael del Norte and partner with the local government, the Nicaraguan Ministry of Education, and three coffee cooperatives. GMCR will provide $1,250,000 over five years for Water For People's ambitious plan to provide full water coverage to the entire municipality of San Rafael del Norte by 2017.
According to Ned Breslin, Water For People CEO, "This strategic investment by GMCR will help change the lives for thousands of people in San Rafael del Norte, and more importantly, it will serve as a model that can be replicated throughout the country so that the entire nation of Nicaragua can meet its water challenges in the future."
At the same time, GMCR will provide $961,359 over three years to a water project coordinated by CII-ASDENIC, the Association of Social Development of Nicaragua. The project's goal is to improve the quality of life for 800 rural families in 10 coffee-producing communities. If the project meets its goals, by the end of the third year 90% of the families will have access to potable water, 30% will have improved food security due to better access to water, and all communities will have a greater ability to adapt to climate change. Together these interventions will revitalize, strengthen, and diversify the smallholder farmer's local economy.
"This partnership supports CII-ASDENIC's continued efforts to improve the quality of life for those living in Northern Nicaragua," said Raul Diaz, Director of CII-ASDENIC. "Access to clean, potable water is essential for improving the health and food security of these vulnerable families."
Together, the water projects are expected to improve the lives of almost 3000 families. "Our strategic grant making is designed to help source communities address the root of local challenges while enhancing supply chain stability," said Michael Dupee, Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility for GMCR.