Michael Birch’s Charity:Water has served 2.3m people in 20 countries

23 Oct 2012

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Bebo founder Michael Birch’s non-profit Charity:Water has revealed it has invested US$37m in water projects around the world, serving some 2.3m people in the process.

Birch, who with his wife Xochi, sold their social networking company Bebo to AOL in 2008 for US$850m, established Charity:Water in 2006 with the focus of bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in developing countries.

The charity uses social media to highlight awareness and arranges fundraising events via Twitter. The initiative has attracted support from over 50,000 individuals.

According to the company’s latest annual report, the organisation has invested in 10 different partners working on the ground in 15 countries.

In 2011 it funded 2,421 water projects that will give clean drinking water to more than 750,000 people in need.

It also funded two drilling rigs that can drill 160 wells and serve 80,000 people each year.

By the end of 2011, Charity:Water’s total investment in water projects was US$37m, serving more than 2.3m people.

However, the annual report points out that there are 800m people in the world who still need clean water.

The charity endeavours to help 100m of these people before the end of the decade.

During the year the organisation invested more in India and Liberia and doubled funding in Cambodia and Ethiopia. Funding was increased eight-fold and nine-fold in Malawi and Rwanda respectively.

Drinking water image via Shutterstock

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Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com