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Mercy Corps and ITT champion fresh approaches to water-related disaster risk reduction

China, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Tajikistan, Colombia, Nepal, August 18, 2011

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Funding by ITT Watermark® supports six new programs underway in Colombia, China, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Nepal and Tajikistan

PORTLAND, Ore. – The global humanitarian agency Mercy Corps and ITT Corporation (NYSE:ITT) today announced the next stage of their multi-year partnership: risk reduction programs in six developing countries where people are particularly vulnerable to water-related disasters. The leaders of this initiative will convene at World Water Week, an annual gathering that takes place August 21-27 in Stockholm, Sweden.

On Sunday, August 21, Mercy Corps and ITT will host a panel at the Stockholm Exhibition and Congress Center titled, “Water and Disaster: Innovative Collaborations Can Mitigate Risk.” Speakers will include:
- Jim Jarvie, Ph.D., Director of Climate Change, Environment and Natural Resource Management, Mercy Corps
- Michael Fields, Director of Philanthropy, ITT
- Anne Castleton, Ph.D., Director of Disaster Risk Reduction, Mercy Corps
- Sue Yardley, Senior Policy Advisor, Tearfund

On Tuesday, August 23, project managers for the six water-related risk reduction programs - funded through ITT Watermark®, ITT’s global corporate citizenship program - will take part in a project launch workshop to discuss innovations in the field and their individual activities. A summary of key findings will be prepared for public release. The programs, currently underway in Colombia, China, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Nepal and Tajikistan, will be completed by December 2012 and are expected to benefit approximately 500,000 people.

“The greatest number of lives can be saved by addressing water-related risks before a disaster occurs,” said Michael Fields, Director of Philanthropy for ITT. “We desperately need new solutions, and the challenge to private companies and nonprofits globally is to find new ways of working together to help vulnerable communities prepare before disaster strikes.”

According to the UN, water-related disasters account for 90 percent of all natural disasters (as compared to earthquakes, landslides or other natural disasters) with the poorest people and countries disproportionately affected. Water-related disaster risk reduction is, therefore, critical to sustainable development.

“Our work with ITT enables us to incorporate best practices in water-related disaster risk reduction in our development efforts, as well as to catalyze new approaches that are sustainable, scalable and replicable,” said Neal Keny-Guyer, Mercy Corps’ CEO. “We’re grateful to have such generous corporate partners who share our desire to help the most vulnerable populations weather the effects of disaster.”

World Water Week is the annual meeting place to discuss the planet’s most urgent water related issues. Organized by the Stockholm International Water Institute, it brings together 2,500 experts, practitioners, decision makers and business innovators from around the globe to exchange ideas, foster new thinking and develop solutions. www.worldwaterweek.org