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A 15 million Euros grant agreement has been signed on November 16, 2020 between the Ministry of Finance (MoF) represented by Ms Yasmin Wohabrebbi, State Minister of Finance, and the French Development Agency (AFD), represented by Ms. Valerie Tehio, Country director, in the presence of H.E. Remi Marechaux, Ambassador of France in Ethiopia and to the African Union.

This grant contributes to the Second Urban Water Supply and Sanitation Program (UWSSPII), financed by the World Bank, which is conceived to support the Ethiopian government’s efforts to fight against open-air defecation, to develop “safely managed” sanitation services and to improve existing water supply services in Addis Ababa and 22 secondary cities. The program should benefit approximately 3.9 mIillion inhabitants. AFD’s grant will specifically finance direct access to safe sanitation services and improved hygiene practices for Ethiopian citizens in selected urban areas amongst the beneficiary secondary cities.

In a country exhibiting an elevated demographic and urban growth, water and sanitation issues are at the heart of national priorities for health, social and environmental reasons. The lack of adequate sanitation infrastructure not only jeopardizes the health of many citizens but it also puts women and girls significantly at risk of harassment and sexual assault and has a major impact on their ability to manage their menstrual hygiene. 

As such, the added value of this grant is to increase the impacts of the program in favor of social inclusion and gender equality in selected secondary cities. It will:

  • intensify and extend the coverage of sanitation infrastructures in an inclusive manner in the selected secondary cities
  • expand, strengthen and implement the gender action plan of the program
  • and create employment opportunities for women in the water and sanitation services. 

“AFD has been supporting WASH sector for many years in Ethiopia, and contributing to strengthen secondary cities’ capacities in order to provide the population with these essential services for a decent and safe life, in particular for women. This new financing is a new step towards Ethiopian attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals”, commented Valerie Tehio, AFD Country Director.

The Agence Française de Développement (AFD) is the French bilateral development bank, which has been working for more than 70 years implementing French development-aid policy. In 2019, AFD committed for 14 billion euros financing worldwide. The AFD living portfolio in Ethiopia amounts more than 500 million euros. 

This support by France is part of the concerted supports of the European Union and its member states, in a "Team Europe" approach in Ethiopia.

Press contact: Berenice Oreyo-Pierronnet