New Delhi, Delhi, India, 3rd October, 2019: As part of its efforts to improve water resilience around the world, AXA XL today announced it has entered into a three-year partnership with international charity WaterAid to help provide more than ten thousand people in rural India with access to clean water.
Nearly one million people globally die each year from diarrhoeal diseases linked to dirty water, and poor sanitation and hygiene. The crisis has a particularly devastating impact on children, affecting their education and health. The provision of clean water, sanitation and hygiene could help save the lives of some 310,000 children aged under five each year.
Investing in water and sanitation not only helps transform lives, it has financial benefits for whole communities. Every US$1 invested in water and toilets returns an average of US$4 in increased productivity.
Today in India, more than 163 million people are currently without safe water and nearly 732 million do not have access to decent sanitation. As part of the new partnership, AXA XL and WaterAid will work to provide communities and schools in the Fatehpur district of Uttar Pradesh in Northern India year-round access to safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene facilities.
Among other things, AXA XL’s funding will support WaterAid in creating sanitary blocks and healthcare facilities in schools and community centres, a pipeline water supply unit and rain water harvesting infrastructure. It will also enable community-level training on water testing and basic hydrology, so that communities can manage and sustain the new infrastructure into the future.
The partnership is one part of AXA XL’s broader Corporate Social Responsibility focus on improving water resilience, which NASA has warned are likely to be the key environmental challenge of the century.
Speaking about the new partnership, Derek Nazareth, Head of Global Operations and Country Head, AXA XL India, said, “AXA XL has a long and established presence in India, with offices in Gurgaon and Bangalore for more than 12 years. We have always been committed to supporting our local communities all year round, but now our interest in the country goes beyond these locations, which is why we’re proud to partner with a charity such as WaterAid to bring clean water to some of the country’s most vulnerable people.”
Suzanne Scatliffe, Director, Corporate Social Responsibility at AXA XL, added, “Water scarcity is a threat to billions of people in both developing and developed countries, and extreme weather patterns, population growth and demographic trends will only exacerbate this problem going forward. As a global (re)insurer, developing resilience is the essence of what we do. We’re looking forward to partnering with WaterAid to reduce the risk of critical water shortages in the most exposed regions.”
Marcus Missen, Director of Communications and Fundraising at WaterAid commented, “An estimated 3.6 billion people lived in water-scarce areas in 2016, and that number is expected to increase to around 5 billion by 2050, while a staggering 2 billion people currently live without access to basic sanitation. This global crisis requires urgent action as these basics are vital to overcoming global poverty. We’re therefore delighted that AXA XL will be joining us on our journey to achieving a world where everyone, everywhere has access to clean water, improved sanitation and good hygiene.”