The H&M Conscious Foundation and the international non-profit WaterAid launched today a new global partnership for safe water and toilets in schools that will change the lives of over a quarter of a million of the world's poorest children for years to come.

The $9.3 million contribution from the H&M Conscious Foundation will improve the health, education and future prospects of students through the work of WaterAid and its local partners to deliver safe water, sanitation and hygiene educations programs in schools, according to the company. The initiative will not only transform the lives of students by delivering immediate and long-term improvements to health and education, but also influence national and international policies around the right to safe water and sanitation.

"H&M and WaterAid have been working together on clean water and safe sanitation since 2002," said H&M CEO and H&M Conscious Foundation board member, Karl-Johan Persson. "Today, the H&M Conscious Foundation is proud to announce that WaterAid will drive one of our global programs for change. The focus is to deliver clean water, sanitation and hygiene in schools to improve health, attendance and education and thereby transforming children's futures."

In 2013, H&M asked its customers and employees to decide which three development issues the H&M Conscious Foundation should support over the coming years. The result was clear: clean water was one of the issues of most concern.

"WaterAid is honored to team up with the H&M Conscious Foundation to support real, life-long impact for people living in extreme poverty," remarked WaterAid America CEO, David Winder. "When it comes to ensuring that both girls and boys have an equal chance to grow up healthy and reach their greatest potential, safe water, toilets and hygiene education at school can make all the difference in the world. The generous support of the H&M Conscious Foundation will go a long way in helping WaterAid achieve the goal of making safe water and sanitation available to everyone, everywhere by the year 2030."

WaterAid is an international non-profit organization dedicated to helping the world's poorest people gain access to safe water and sanitation. WaterAid works in 27 countries across Africa, Asia, Central America and the Pacific region. Since 1981, WaterAid has reached 19 million people with safe water and, since 2004, 15 million people with toilets and sanitation.

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