UNICEF Nepal and the Government of Finland signed an agreement today to co-finance recovery and reconstruction of Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)facilities in communities and schools affected by the devastating earthquakes that struck Nepal in April and May 2015.The Government of Finland will finance UNICEF by 1 million Euro for 2016 and has an option to provide an additional 1 million Euro in 2017.
In 2016, the support will assist the reconstruction of 60 partially damaged water supply schemes, and well as the provision of WASH facilities in 100 schools, including both hardware and software support. It will benefit more than 33,000 people of four earthquake impacted districts and 20,000 school children of 100 schools. UNICEF Nepal will also be working closely with the government at the national and district levels to enhance their capacity on making WASH facilities resilient and in ensuring to reach the unreached population while reconstructing of WASH services in communities and schools.
“Over the years Nepal has made significant stridesin achieving its Water, Sanitation and Hygiene targets. However, with the devastating earthquake, we along with the Government of Nepal and UNICEF Nepal are working to build back better and achieve not just the universal target of WASH that Nepal has aimed for, but also move towards the Sustainable Development Goal agenda" said Mr. Jorma Suvanto, the Ambassador of Finland to Nepal.
"This contribution forthe reconstruction of WASH services is a logical continuum to our existing cooperation and our co-financing with UNICEF is expected to reach the neediest people, especially the women and children in the four most affected districts. We are delighted that this support will bring together two crucial sectors – WASH and Education."
This contribution from Government of Finland is part of the overall commitment made on25 June,2015 at the International Conference on Nepal's Reconstruction.
UNICEF Representative Tomoo Hozumi said, "In the last 11 months, UNICEF has been working very closely with the Government, partners and donors like the Government of Finland to minimize the potential risk of waterborne diseases through life saving WASH interventions targeting about 840,000 affected people of 14 earthquake districts. The affected communities and districts are now striving towards sustained WASH services that need technical and operational support with resilience as heart of the intervention."
"The continuing partnership with Government of Finland while enabling us to provide “upstream” policy and capacity building support to the Government of Nepal for disaster resilience and system strengthening, will also help us to support “downstream” investment support for recovery and reconstruction of WASH services damaged by earthquake in the four priority districts."