Tunis, 11 June 2010 - The African Development Bank (AfDB) will on 14 June 2010 host the fourth Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Initiative (RWSSI) Trust Fund Steering Committee Meeting.
The meeting will review the 2009 progress of RWSSI; approve the 2010 Lending Programme/Budget; and agree on the way forward. The meeting will bring together representatives from France, Denmark, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Canada, and the AfDB.
The RWSSI was conceived by the AfDB in 2002 in response to the needs of the poorest 65% of the populations living in rural areas in Africa, The key objective of RWSSI is to reduce poverty through the attainment of the African Water Vision (AWV) and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by accelerating access to improved rural water supply and sanitation (WSS) facilities to 80% by year 2015 in a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner.
RWSSI was adopted by African governments and international development partners as the common framework for resources mobilization and investment for rural water supply and sanitation services in rural Africa at the First International Donor Conference on RWSSI in Paris in April 2005.
The initiative seeks to help mobilize as well as facilitate the flow of available and potential resources to accelerate investment in rural water supply and sanitation in Africa. Focus areas include water supply, sanitation, hygiene education, sector policy and strategy, capacity building and funds mobilization for Rural Water and Sanitation sub-sectors.
Since the RWSSI program began in 2003, the Bank has approved 25 operations in 20 countries with total financing of *UA 1.44 billion of which, the Bank contributed UA 600 million from ADF/ADB resources and the RWSSI Trust Fund contributed UA 59 million.
The Initiative has leveraged UA 790 million from other development partners, African governments and the beneficiary communities. The rural population provided with access to safe water supply and adequate sanitation services in the 20 countries reached 25.7 million people for water and 17.03 million people for sanitation respectively by end of December 2009. The Initiative aims to provide water supply access to about 271 million people and sanitation access to about 295 million people living in rural Africa by 2015. There is still a lot to be done and we need to keep up the momentum if we are to realize the 2015 targets.
This meeting will be an opportunity for the participants to assess the achievements of this key initiative, the challenges, and formulate recommendations that will enable viable sustainability.
* 1 Unit of Account (UA) = US $ 1.47 as of June 2010