This session focused on below-market-rate loans with grace periods used by SWE implementers to invest in capital costs within a sector that is currently drastically under-financed. Despite demonstrated success, the SWE (known as small or safe water enterprise) sector is drastically under-financed, limiting access to safe, affordable, and reliable water for an estimated billion+ people. New ways of financing and scaling SWEs need to be developed, deployed, or enhanced to accelerate progress in closing the funding gap to achieve access to safe water.
The COVID-19 pandemic wreaked unprecedented havoc on many aspects of life – especially for the world’s most vulnerable populations. The most recent UN Sustainability Development Goals Report stated that 71 million people are expected to be pushed back into extreme poverty in 2020, further deepening the water challenges already faced by billions of people around the world.
These trying times and complex challenges require new and inventive ways to sustain, finance, and scale small/safe water enterprises (SWEs). To accelerate progress in closing the global safe water gap, Safe Water Network launched the Innovations Webinar Series to showcase and celebrate implementers that are utilizing innovative solutions in finance, technology, and policy to address safe water issues. The webinar series featured case studies, panels, and studies that tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems.