The Caterpillar Foundation, supported by Caterpillar Inc. , continues working to alleviate poverty worldwide, including on the African continent, through a series of investments. Since 2010 alone, corporate social innovation has driven the Caterpillar Foundation to invest $30 million in African programs that address access to clean water, energy, empowering girls and women and microfinance, as well as food and shelter. The Foundation targets investments to organizations working in areas of policy that will enable sustainable growth and development across the continent.
“The Caterpillar Foundation is committed to finding ways to spur vibrant growth in Africa,” said Doug Oberhelman, Caterpillar Chairman & CEO. “Just as it has in other parts of the world, the Foundation is investing to help millions of Africans become economically self-sufficient. The investments announced today will provide essentials – water, energy and opportunity – to help families and communities build and grow.”
ONE Campaign – Advocacy and Public Policy
The Caterpillar Foundation is making an initial investment of $5 million with the ONE Campaign to address advocacy and public policy needs and the lack of access to power, which is a key factor in making it more difficult for Africa to lift itself out of poverty. The Caterpillar Foundation plans to announce an additional grant with ONE later this year.
“ONE is incredibly grateful for the Caterpillar Foundation’s investment in our work to help bring reliable supplies of energy to the nearly 600 million people across Africa who presently lack it,” said Michael Elliot, ONE Campaign CEO. “We’re also excited about continuing our partnership with the Foundation to enhance global advocacy and campaigning around the world that inspires citizens to use their voices and take action to end extreme poverty by 2030.”
Charity: water – Water Distribution Pipeline Extension
The Caterpillar Foundation is investing nearly $5 million to bring clean water to two countries in Africa through charity: water, whose mission is to bring clean and safe drinking water to every person in the world.
The investment will help fund an extension of a current water distribution pipeline into two underserved countries in Africa: Tanzania and Ethiopia. An extension of this pipeline and the addition of water access points are expected to benefit more than 126,000 Tanzanians and Ethiopians who currently travel long distances to collect water from unsanitary sources.
“Since 2010, charity: water, with the help of the Caterpillar Foundation, has worked to bring clean water to almost 100,000 people throughout Africa and beyond,” said Scott Harrison, charity: water CEO. “charity: water is honored to work with Caterpillar Foundation in such a significant way and looks forward to putting thousands more people on the path to prosperity together.”
United Nations Foundation – Clean Cookstove Initiative
As cooking and fuel collection largely remain a woman’s responsibility in many African countries, the health and economic effects of household air pollution from traditional cookstoves disproportionately impact girls and women. The Caterpillar Foundation is investing more than $1 million in energy and cookstoves programs to help address this deadly issue in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and Uganda.
Through a United Nations Foundation program, the money will help teach them about the dangers of traditional cooking and the benefits of adopting clean cooking solutions.
“By involving women and girls in the design and sale of clean cookstoves and fuels, we can increase project effectiveness and help scale the adoption of clean cooking products and services around the world,” said Radha Muthiah, executive director of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves. “With the Caterpillar Foundation’s support, we can better integrate women into the value chain and, in doing so, improve the health and well-being of women across Africa.”
A common thread of all three programs is the fact they target the root causes of poverty, which is key to Caterpillar’s corporate social innovation strategy. Moving forward, the Caterpillar Foundation will increase its focus on similar programs throughout the countries of Africa.