Chelsea Clinton visits World Vision site to present milestone litre to Myanmar family

YANGON, May 27, 2013 – World Vision Myanmar hosted a historic visit with its partner Procter and Gamble (P&G) when they delivered their six billionth litre of clean drinking water at a World Vision programme site.

World Vision staff were joined by Dr. Greg Allgood, founder and director of P&G Children’s Safe Drinking Water Program, and Chelsea Clinton, board member of the Clinton Foundation, to commemorate the milestone.

For photos of this historic visit, click here

Clinton personally gifted the 6 billionth litre of water to a family in Gway Dauk Chaung village in Pathein township, 200 kilometres west of Yangon. World Vision’s Panthein Area Development Program was established in 2003 and is supported by World Vision United States.

She also witnessed the impact of providing clean water to disaster-affected families there.

Frequently after disasters, it is clean water that is needed the most.

“When there are urgent needs, whether it be after a disaster, like an earthquake or Cyclone Nargis here in Myanmar, it’s crucial that there’d be organisations like World Vision who are already on the ground, so that they can quickly get resources to people who need them,” Clinton said. “Frequently after disasters, it is clean water that is needed the most.”

The P&G powdered water purification product is a simple and effective way to make clean drinking water for the entire family, as the sachets quickly turn dirty and potentially deadly water into clean and drinkable water. P&G has been providing clean drinking water in developing countries for nearly a decade through its award-winning P&G Purifier of Water technology.

“Safe drinking water is extremely crucial in saving lives, especially within the first few weeks following a major calamity,” said Win Zin Oo, director of humanitarian and emergency affairs for World Vision Myanmar. “The P&G Purifier of Water sachets are a life-saver because they are small, portable and simple to administer through our field staff, allowing us to quickly help as many disaster victims as possible and stem an impending public health crisis. We are grateful to have P&G’s support, as together we reduce the vulnerability of people affected by disasters in Myanmar.”

In November, 2012, The Economist magazine recognised it as one of the world’s most impactful innovations.

Each sachet of P&G Purifier of Water contains four grams of powder that can clean up to 10 litres of water. It removes more than 99.99999 percent of common waterborne bacteria (including those that cause cholera), 99.99 percent of common waterborne viruses (including those that cause Hepatitis A), and 99.9 percent of protozoa from contaminated water, helping to reduce diarrheal disease incidence in the developing world by up to 90 percent.

World Vision has been working in Myanmar since 1991 with current operations in 11 of the 14 states. World Vision’s programs span a range of sectors including education, health, agriculture and child protection. A microfinance program has been operating there since 1998. World Vision’s 880 staff and 3,500 volunteers work at the community level to build capacity across a range of technical areas. In 2012, World Vision’s work reached more than 1.98 million people in Myanmar.

World Vision started addressing the community’s water needs during the 2008 Cyclone Nargis response. When a water purification sachet was stirred in the water, it became safe to drink.

World Vision and P&G have been working together since Cyclone Nargis in 2008 to provide clean potable water to cyclone-affected communities in the Ayeyarwaddy Delta.

In Myanmar, which is prone to natural disasters including floods, cyclones, droughts and earthquakes, the P&G Purifier of Water has been particularly effective. In the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis, Myanmar’s delta region experienced a severe shortage of clean drinking water. Working closely with World Vision, P&G helped provide more than 25 million litres of clean drinking water to disaster victims across Myanmar.

“The 6 billionth litre marks an important milestone in P&G’s journey towards saving one life every hour, a commitment we made in 2010 at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting,” Allgood said. “Sharing the 6 billionth litre of clean drinking water in Myanmar recognises our longstanding support to the country since Cyclone Nargis, and P&G’s commitment to the future of Myanmar.”

More recently, World Vision Myanmar and P&G have distributed millions of litres of clean drinking water to families hit by floods in Tharbaung (September 2012), Kawthaung (June 2012), Loikaw (September 2011) and Hpaan (July, 2011), to communities experiencing droughts  in Dawei, Laung Lon and Thayetchaung and those affected by Cyclone Mahasen in May 2013.