Press release

H&M Foundation pledges over $20 million to education, clean water and women's empowerment

With a donation of $20.5 million and three new Global Programs the non-profit H&M Foundation makes a new strong commitment to long-lasting improvements in education, clean water and women’s economic empowerment. The goal is not only to transform lives for some of the world's poorest, but also to influence national, regional and global agendas to work towards an equal society.

23 May, 2017 08:30 CEST

The new three-year partnerships with UNICEF (Education), WaterAid (Clean water) and CARE (Women’s economic empowerment) build on the achievements and learnings made in the previous Global Programs which ended in January 2017. With this new pledge, the total donation since 2014 to the Global Programs is 360 million Swedish krona ($41 million/€37 million).

So far, over 100,000 children are reached with education, over 250,000 school children have access to clean water and toilets and 100,000 women are empowered to start or expand their businesses. In addition, dialogues with governments have resulted in more resources to education and implementation of clean water, improved hygiene and sanitation in some of the poorest parts of the world. Due to the success of these programs, a renewed three-year commitment is now made.

“We’ve seen that our programs can make real change and that makes both the H&M Foundation and our partner organizations very eager to move into the next gear. With our insights from the first three years, we are well-equipped to create even more impact together in the years to come.“

Diana Amini, Global Manager, H&M Foundation

To make even more impact, all three programs include a component to break new ground. UNICEF will develop a tool to highlight the relevance of Early Childhood Development efforts for tolerance, cooperation and respect to prevent conflicts and bring communities together. CARE will launch a pioneering Global Report on the economic and social value of investing in women’s enterprise development and WaterAid will share learnings and best practice on how to deliver long lasting access to water, sanitation and hygiene services.

“There is a constant need for new partnerships and innovative solutions and the H&M Foundation will continue to be a catalyst for positive change for the planet, communities and people. It is a long-term commitment from my family and this work has just begun,” says Karl-Johan Persson, Board member, H&M Foundation and CEO H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB.

In a recently launched Impact Report 2013-2016, H&M Foundation has compiled all its efforts so far, and the progress is also described in a short film.

 

For more information, contact

Malin Björne
PR & Communications Manager, H&M Foundation
malin.bjorne@hmfoundation.com
+46 70 796 39 75

Note; The donations to the Global Programs are made in Swedish krona. USD/EUR are based on the exchange rate 16 May 2017.

 

About H&M Foundation

The H&M Foundation is a non-profit global foundation, privately funded by the Stefan Persson family, founders and main owners of H&M. Its mission is to drive long lasting positive change and improve living conditions by investing in people, communities and innovative ideas. Through partnerships with organizations around the globe, the H&M Foundation drives change within four focus areas; Education, Water, Equality and Planet. In addition to this, the Foundation can also provide emergency relief. Since 2013, the Stefan Persson family has donated 1.1 billion Swedish krona (USD 154 million/EUR 123 million) to the Foundation.

For more information, visit hmfoundation.com.

 

NOTES TO EDITORS

Global Program Goals - 2017-2020

UNICEF

  • Reach 145,000 children, parents, teachers and influencers with Early Childhood Development programs, so that every child can have the best start in life.
  • Facilitate collaboration within national ministries in four countries to enable implementation of Early Childhood Development services.
  • Develop a tool to highlight the relevance of Early Childhood Development efforts for tolerance, cooperation and respect to prevent conflicts and bring communities together.

WATERAID

  • Give 150,000 people access to water and sanitation services in some of the world’s poorest communities.
  • Improve systems for delivering sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene services in four countries.
  • Launch a Global Report to share learnings and best practice on how to deliver long lasting access to water, sanitation and hygiene services.

CARE

  • Empower 100,000 women entrepreneurs from low-income communities worldwide to develop and grow their business.
  • Showcase successful business models in 7 countries to inspire women to become entrepreneurs, ensuring they have the right conditions to succeed.
  • Launch a pioneering Global Report on the economic and social value of investing in women’s enterprise development.

 

Quotes from partner organizations

”Nearly 250 million children under the age of five in developing countries are at risk of poor development. We rely on support from our partners to reach the most vulnerable and excluded children to help change their life paths. UNICEF is grateful to the H&M Foundation for its ongoing support helping to make sure babies and children experience the love, good nutrition, stimulation through play and early learning, and protection they need in the critical early moments,” says UNICEF Chief of Early Childhood Development Pia Britto.

“Today, 900 children under five die every day from diahorrea caused by dirty water and poor sanitation. This is something WaterAid is passionate to change. With the funding from the H&M Foundation we will be able to transform the lives of some of the world’s poorest people by improving their wellbeing and living conditions - not only today but tomorrow and for many years to come. This will take us one step closer to our vision where everyone everywhere have safe water, adequate toilets and improved hygiene,” says Cecilia Chatterjee-Martinsen, Chief Executive WaterAid Sweden.

“We now know that women from poor communities have the potential to become successful entrepreneurs and take control of their lives. Through our partnership with the H&M Foundation, we will support a further 100,000 women entrepreneurs across the globe, helping them from survival to success. It is fascinating to see how women gain power once they believe in themselves,” says Reintje van Haeringen, Director, CARE Nederland.

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