Brussels, 18 December 2012
Côte d'Ivoire: New European programme to give one million people improved access to water and sanitation
More than a million people will have access to drinking water and basic sanitation in rural areas of Côte d'Ivoire thanks to a programme just launched by the European Commission. The programme, which is an integral part of the EU’s efforts in support of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), extends the emergency and rehabilitation initiatives undertaken between 2006 and 2010, and targets those areas most severely affected by the crisis in Côte d'Ivoire. The main objectives are to renovate water infrastructure, benefiting 350 000 people, and to provide waste water treatment infrastructure, benefiting 650 000 people.
As Andris Piebalgs, the Development Commissioner, explained: ‘In keeping with the promise I made when I visited Côte d'Ivoire last April, the European Union continues to be a first line partner for the reconstruction and development of the country. The new initiatives will provide water and sanitation facilities to thousands of families in Côte d'Ivoire and will also help further the peace process, which is a sine qua non for the country’s reconstruction. This will also enable Côte d'Ivoire to step up its efforts to attain the MDGs and to improve the quality of life of its people.’
One of the measures under the new programme, which has been allocated a total budget of some EUR 27 million, is the establishment of around 100 drinking water systems in villages with a population of between 1 000 and 4 000. Training sessions will be organised to ensure better maintenance and management of the infrastructure in the long term. Improved latrines will also be provided in around 1 000 villages.
The political crisis in Côte d'Ivoire in 2010 inflicted major human and material damage, particularly in the west of the country, which is the area targeted by this programme. In the water sector, much of the infrastructure was damaged during the fighting, or deteriorated through neglect. The European Commission was quick to react to the crisis: a total of EUR 100 million in humanitarian aid has been allocated to date, along with EUR 320 million in development aid to help Côte d'Ivoire get back on its feet.
On a global level, while 89% of the world’s population has access to drinking water, there are still 783 million people who have no access to this vital resource and 2.5 billion who do not have access to adequate sanitation.
To help attain the MDGs more quickly, the European Union announced the launch of an MDG initiative to the tune of EUR 1 billion at the UN General Assembly in New York in 2010.
Website of the European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs:
Website of DG Development and Co-operation EuropeAid:
Catherine Ray (+32 2 296 99 21)
Wojtek Talko (+32 2 297 85 51)