Hollywood star promotes clean water for developing world

Actor Matt Damon has teamed up with water specialists to campaign for safe water and sanitation for the developing world.

Mr Damon has long campaigned for clean water and is co-founder of the NGO H2O Africa.

He has teamed up with a similar group, WaterPartners, to lend his celebrity to a new venture, water.org, which aims to level grass roots expertise to bring safe water to communities throughout the developing world.

Mr Damon said: "Every 15 seconds, a child in the developing world dies from water-related disease. After visiting project sites in Africa and Asia with [WaterPartners'] Gary White, I've seen the problem and the impact of safe water.

"As a clear leader in the sector at delivering innovative and sustainable solutions for those in need, WaterPartners was the natural choice with whom to work to truly affect lasting change."

Mr White added: "For more than 20 years I've been working to realise the vision of global access to safe water, and with the help of our donors, staff, partner organizations, and the H2OAfrica team, I'm confident we can accelerate our impact,"

He said Water.org will set the stage for even broader impact in the sector. "It will open the door to advocacy work, and bring the water issue to new heights in the public's consciousness."

The merger is effectively a marriage of technical expertise and the high profile offered through celebrity endorsement.

It will improve efficiencies, leverage expertise, and increase the overall social return on donations.

Through its partners worldwide, it aims to champion innovative business models, local partner development, project selection and oversight, program management, and post-development monitoring and evaluation.

Later this year, the organisation plans to launch a website that will bring unprecedented transparency and connectedness between donors and those in need.

Sam Bond



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