COVID-19 Recovery Support For African Water Facility

17 Dec 2020 by Staff - Water Diplomat
HELSINKI, Finland

The Nordic Development Fund (NDF) has announced approval of a $9 Million USD grant to the African Water Facility (AWF) for COVID-19 recovery.

The funds will enhance investments and preparation of investment-ready projects for water supply, sanitation, and integrated water resource management.

The “COVID-19 Recovery through Climate-Resilient Water and Sanitation in Africa” programme will support pandemic recovery and aims to improve the quality of life for urban poor communities specifically in the Sahel and the Horn of Africa.

The programme will utilise a climate-resilient approach to prepare investment projects in water supply, sanitation and integrated water resource management. Urban areas, and specifically urban poor, vulnerable and unserved / displaced communities will be priortised.

The proposed programme builds on the partnership between the African Development Bank and the African Water Facility, the Nordic Development Fund, Denmark and other donors to prevent transmission of COVID-19.

The program takes a Build-Back-Better and Greener approach to in its operations to prepare climate-resilient water supply, sanitation, and hygiene, or WASH, investments. The program is a follow-up to the Nordic Development Fund’s earlier grant to the AWF for proposals for climate-resilient water infrastructure and water resource management projects in Sub-Saharan Africa.

“This grant will enable the African Water Facility to fulfil its mandate of investment-ready project preparation and its climate-resilient approach to interventions in water supply, sanitation, and integrated water resource management,” said the Bank’s Acting Vice President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development, Wambui Gichuri, who is the institution’s Director for the Department of Water Development and Sanitation. “The Bank is particularly pleased that the program will place a special emphasis on the needs of poor, underserved and displaced persons as well as on gender equity in access to water and sanitation; and facilitating job creation for youth and women,” she said.

Karin Isaksson, Managing Director of NDF, said that the Fund will add substantial value through direct grant support to the AWF and the Bank to help get the COVID-19 Program off the ground. “We are very pleased to build and leverage on our relationship with the AWF to support Build-Back-Better and Greener, climate-resilient approaches. We also welcome the possibility to provide access to Nordic knowledge, technology, and potential partnerships on innovative water and sanitation solutions by financing a long-term consultant,” she said.