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Denmark, France and the Netherlands support AfDB to improve Water Supply and Sanitation access in rural Africa Tunis, 7
February 2007 –The African Development Bank (AfDB) recently hosted the First Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Initiative Multi-donor Trust Fund (RWSSI Trust Fund) Steering Committee, that brought together donors from Denmark, France and the Netherlands, as well as AfDB representatives for discussion and validation of the Fund’s Indicative Budget, strategy and operations in selected African countries for the year 2007.
The first International Donors conference on the AfDB’s Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Initiative (RWSSI), organized on 1 April 2005 in Paris, successfully mobilized the major international donors as well as African Governments to adopt RWSSI as the common framework for resource mobilization and investment for the development of rural water supply and sanitation services in Africa. The primary objective of the RWSSI is to mobilise African governments and international donors to accelerate access to sustainable investments in water supply and sanitation through the utilization of innovative approaches to service delivery. "The Initiative already supports 13 countries and it is expected to extend its services very soon to 19 countries and thereafter to all the African countries that have defined a national water strategy", said Mr. Kordjé Bedoumra, the AfDB Water and Sanitation Department (OWAS) and African Water Facility (AWF) Director. With a view to help attain the MDGs; the main target is to extend the provision of safe drinking water and basic sanitation to 80% of the rural populations by 2015 from the base level of about 47% coverage for water supply and 44% for sanitation in 2000. The total resource requirements for achieving 80% access to water and sanitation by 2015 is estimated at US$ 14.2 billion committed during the Paris Conference in 2005.
The Bank established the Multi-donor Trust fund which held its steering committee meeting on 29 January, in order to help donors contribute to the RWSSI. The Trust Fund agreement was signed by Denmark in February 2006 while France and the Netherlands did so in September 2006. The three donor countries that share a common vision with the AfDB on the attainment of Water-related MDGs and the importance of Water and Sanitation, have provided grants totalling € 90 million through the Trust Fund (€40 million from France, DKK 230 million from Denmark and $US 25.5 million from the Netherlands).
For the first time since its establishment, the RWSSI Trust Fund Steering Committee came together under the chairmanship of Mr. Bedoumra, Messrs.. Erwin Van Den Eede from Denmark, Dirk Van Ginhoven from the Netherlands, Carrère, from France and Mrs. Orraca-Ndiaye of the AfDB cooperation department, to examine the Fund’s 2007 work programme.
Substantial financing proposed at the end of the meeting will be channeled to RWSSI programs in almost all countries benefiting from the AfDB’s support. Presently, resources earmarked for RWSSI Programs will not be enough to meet the MDG targets. However, the timely establishment of the RWSSI Trust Fund will make it possible to increase support to the water sector. The resource needs for the year 2007 is large enough to absorb the resources available to the RWSSI Trust Fund. As a result, countries with limited resources that are ready to implement the RWSSI program will benefit from additional financing to the tune of UA 11 million (€12.65 million*) provided to Niger recently. Other countries likely to benefit from the funding include Burkina Faso, Mali and Mozambique.
Members of the RWSSI Trust Fund Steering Committee reaffirmed the role of the Fund as a complement to the AfDB’s financing as well as an efficient support to enable the Bank to achieve greater impact in the provision of rural water supply and sanitation in Africa.
* 1 UA =1.15034 € as at 01/02/2007