Established in 2015, Azure Source Capital (ASC) is a market-based initiative focused on filling a critical financing gap in the water sector in El Salvador. More than 20% of the people do not have access to piped water into their homes and 40% have unreliable access to water (less than 12 hours/day or 7 days/week).
ASC provides capital to local financial institutions (rural banks and credit cooperatives) which in turn lend to water service providers in underserved urban and peri-urban communities of El Salvador at competitive interest rates. The funding is focused on supporting small water operators. The goal is to finance 200 water service providers during the next five years and thereby improve services for 325,000 people.
ASC’s technical services partner, Azure Technical Services, provides engineering services and training to water service providers and facilitates loans between local financial institutions and water service providers, including small urban water utilities and community water boards in rural communities.
To date, Azure Technical Services has provided technical assistance to 83 water services providers, benefiting more than 63,000 families. It also has mobilized $1.6 million for direct upgrades to water and sanitation systems, including nearly $500,000 in loans through Azure Source Capital.
Impact: Water is life
Azure asserts that “water is life,” which is the foundation of their mission to ensure that all communities, especially those living in poverty, have access to clean water.
“From the very first day I received water access, I have been much happier. I bathe often; I water my plants; I keep my house clean; I couldn’t do this before. Girls and boys do not waste time fetching water now. They even have more time to study,” said Salvador Ayala, a resident of one of the communities that ASC works with.
The Praxis commitment
Praxis Mutual Funds supports organizations such as Azure Source Capital through investments in Calvert Impact Capital, an impact-investing institution that helps people around the world through community development financing. It’s part of the Praxis commitment to place approximately 1% of each of its funds to benefit neighborhoods and individuals through community development investments.
Learn more about the Praxis family of funds.