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Published on: 12/03/2014

The grant provides significant backing to IRC’s groundbreaking work with the Ghanaian government to bring together a wide range of national and local partners to create viable, lasting water services. This approach has focussed on building government’s ability to deliver and maintain water services and contrasts to more conventional charity-based solutions that primarily focus on the installation of hardware. The aim of this work has been to tackle a chronic waste of resources and money globally in the WASH sector: around the world approximately one third of rural water systems don’t work as a result of short-term and piecemeal interventions at the cost of long-term service solutions.

“IRC is hugely excited to be partnering with the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. IRC believes strongly that strengthening the ability of governments to lead the provision of services is not only the best route to scale, but the only viable exit strategy for charitable giving. By supporting our work in Ghana the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation is giving strong support to the achievement of our vision of providing everyone in Ghana with water services that will last forever - without the need for endless charitable donations.” - Patrick Moriarty, CEO, IRC.

The award is announced at a special World Water Day meeting in Accra, Ghana. Steven M. Hilton, Chairman, President & CEO of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, comments on the award:

“We have been working with our partners in Ghana to increase access to safe water for more than 20 years. We’re teaming up with IRC to build on our experience and focus on improving how water systems are managed. This grant will help contribute towards providing reliable safe water into the future.”

Over the last five years, IRC has identified key building blocks that are required to establish sustainable services in water and sanitation and an approach to deliver them as part of their Sustainable Services at Scale research programme operating in Ghana, Uganda and Burkina Faso. In Ghana, this has meant working with government agencies and communities in three districts (Akatsi, East Gonja and Sunyani West). As a result, 50,000 people can now trust that if a service breaks down it will be put right by local government and 1 million people can be assured that someone will be notified to fix the service. The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation award has been made in recognition of the impact of this work and seeks to extend it to bring effective and viable services to an additional 1.3 million people.

Editor’s Notes

About IRC

IRC is a ‘think and do tank’ that works to make water and sanitation services last. Its approach is different, seeking to deliver transformational improvements through the cultivation of comprehensive water, sanitation and hygiene services, not one-off unsustainable investments. IRC works with national and local governments, with NGOs and businesses and with local communities to realise an ambitious vision: a world where no child or adult dies of causes related to water and sanitation. A world where everyone has access to safe and reliable WASH services, forever. IRC currently runs programmes and projects in 28 countries and large-scale projects in seven focus countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Donor partners include the Dutch government, European Union, the US agency for International Development, UNICEF, the World Bank, African Development Bank, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The programmes budgets range from € 2 -16 million and are implemented by a team of just over 100 staff across the world. For more information please visit

About the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation

The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation was created in 1944 by international business pioneer Conrad N. Hilton, who founded Hilton Hotels and left his fortune to help the world’s disadvantaged and vulnerable people. The Foundation currently conducts strategic initiatives in six priority areas: providing safe water, ending chronic homelessness, preventing substance abuse, helping children affected by HIV and AIDS, supporting transition-age youth in foster care, and extending Conrad Hilton’s support for the work of Catholic Sisters. In addition, following selection by an independent international jury, the Foundation annually awards the $1.5 million Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize to a nonprofit organization doing extraordinary work to reduce human suffering. From its inception, the Foundation has awarded more than $1 billion in grants, distributing $92 million in the U.S. and around the world in 2013. The Foundation’s current assets are approximately $2.4 billion. For more information, please visit

Media Contact details IRC
Jenda Terpstra
M +31 6 44051613
T +31 70 3044013

Contact details Conrad N. Hilton Foundation
Marc Moorghen
T +1 818 851-3700
Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, 30440 Agoura Rd., Agoura Hills, CA 91301


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