Kathmandu, March 2, 2016: 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 strides in 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 for the 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 on 25 June, 2015 at the International Conference on Nepal's Reconstruction.
UNICEF Representative Mr. 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 needs 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."
About Government of Finland:
The Government of Finland has been one of the core supporters and donor for the national WASH agenda in Nepal for several decades. Finland chairs WASH Development Partners working group at the moment and its grant support in the WASH sector was 6.9 million Euro in 2015. The support in education sector was 5.5 million Euro in 2015.
There has been a 5-year agreement with UNICEF from 2011 to mid-2016 worth 9.8 million Euro to support the national WASH targets. Post-earthquake, the Government of Finland also immediately provided an additional 500,000 Euro to UNICEF to kick start the life-saving response in the 14 earthquake affected districts.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything it does. Together with the partners, UNICEF works in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For further information:
Jukka Ilomäki, Counsellor, Embassy of Finland, Ph: +977-1-4416 636 Web: www.finland.org.np/
Antti Rautavaara, Chief, WASH Section UNICEF Nepal, Ph: +977-5523200 ext 1190 Web: www.unicef.org/nepal/