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Swiss govt commits $20m to AfDB to increase access to water, sanitation in Africa

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The African Development Bank (AfDB) says it will receive a $20 million contribution to its Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Trust Fund from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.

The funds, a second contribution from the Swiss agency is to help accelerate access to water supply and sanitation in rural Africa, said the AfDB in a statement November 25, 2011.

Commenting, Sering Jallow, Director of the AfDB’s Water and Sanitation Department and the African Water Facility said, “The AfDB welcomes this second contribution from the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation. It is a testimony to the important role that the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Initiative plays in accelerating access to basic water and sanitation services.”

On behalf of the Swiss government, Hansjurg Ambuhl, head of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation’s West Africa department, said “We do see this as the expression of the strong will of Switzerland to contribute to the alleviation of the African crisis in water and sanitation, in particular also in rural and remote areas.”

Since the inception of the Initiative, the Bank said 31 programmes in 23 African countries have been approved. “Of this number, half are already delivering water services to some 33 million people and providing sanitation to over 21 million, at the end of June 2011,” it added.

By Ekow Quandzie

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