More than 120,000 households across Ethiopia are expected to benefit from an €81.4m ($88.7m) investment in water and sanitation infrastructure agreed yesterday by three European development agencies.
The programme that we’ve agreed to jointly finance today is expected to lead to improvements in health conditions and thus the quality of life of many Ethiopians– Pim van Ballekom, EIB vice president
The programme of technical assistance, loans and grants will provide new infrastructure and rehabilitate existing services in towns across Africa’s fast-growing and second-most populous country.
The European Investment Bank (EIB), the French Agency for Development (AFD) and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation announced the investment on the sidelines of the Third International Conference on Finance for Development held this week in the capital, Addis Ababa.
Making up the €81m are loans of €40m from the EIB, €20m from AFD, €15m from the Italian ministry, plus a further €6.4m in grants from the three partners combined.
From left: EIB vice president Pim Van Ballekom; Deputy Director General of AFD, Jacques Moineville: Ethiopian State Minister of Finance Ato Ahmed Shide; and France’s Minister of State for Development and Francophony, Annick Girardin (EIB)
Expected to benefit more than 120,000 households, the scheme will be supported by the Water Resources Development Fund’s (WRDF), and technical assistance will be provided to regional water authorities.
Ethiopia has one of the world’s fastest growing economies, with GDP expected to expand 8.6% this year after 10.3% growth last year, according to the International Monetary Fund.
It is racing ahead with development programmes in transport and energy, and is attracting foreign investment in real estate.
But among its population of 96.6 million, 49 million people still lack safe water and 76 million have no sanitation services, according to Water.org.
"The programme that we’ve agreed to jointly finance today is expected to lead to improvements in health conditions and thus the quality of life of many Ethiopians," said Pim van Ballekom, EIB vice president.
The EIB said that over the last five years it has provided around €500m to support water investment including in Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso in the Sahel, Cameroon in central Africa as well as Tanzania, Uganda, Lesotho and Zambia.
Top image: A US naval officer pumps water from a new well in Dira Dawa, Ethiopia in July 2011 as part of a humanitarian project (U.S. Navy photo/Timothy Wilson/Wikimedia Commons)