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US fund to invest in PH

Impact investment manager WaterEquity, cofounded by Hollywood actor Matt Damon, has raised $50 million from banks and foundations for projects that will address the water crisis in four Asian countries, including the Philippines.

The Missouri, United States-based social enterprise announced that commitments for the full amount of its flagship fund—dubbed WaterCredit Investment Fund 3—have been secured following a first closing for an initial $33 million in September 2018.

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Those who are investing in WaterEquity’s projects included Bank of America, Overseas Private Investment Corp., Ceniarth LLC and Niagara Cares as well as the Conrad N. Hilton, Skoll and Osprey Foundations.

According to WaterEquity, its funds were invested in a portfolio of financial institutions and enterprises in emerging markets to enable these to scale up, meet increasing market demand and deliver access to safe water and sanitation.

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“We are extremely pleased at the response to our fund and appreciate the confidence our investors have placed in WaterEquity’s ability to drive positive social and financial impact,” WaterEquity executive vice president Alix Lebec said.

By investing in financial institutions and water and sanitation enterprises throughout India, Indonesia, Cambodia and the Philippines, the fund aims to help 4.6 million people gain access to safe water or sanitation.

So far, the fund has made five investments totaling nearly $17 million to financial institutions in India, Indonesia and Cambodia, with the next investments expected to be placed in similar entities in the Philippines.

In particular, the fund is intended for investing in microfinance institutions, microutilities, toilet manufacturers and water purification kiosks.

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