UNICEF and Swedish Government Launch a new project on water and sanitation
On 10th July Swedish Development Agency (SIDA) and UNICEF will launch a new project on ensuring safe water, sanitation and hygiene in and around IDP collective centres and settlements in the conflict affected city of Gori and other areas of Georgia. The Government of Sweden (SIDA) will provide 2 million Euro to UNICEF for the implementation of the project. The project will be carried out in close partnership with the central and local government of Georgia and in collaboration with project implementing partners Action Contre La Faim (ACF) and International Rescue Committee (IRC).
Mr Steven Allen, the UNICEF Regional Director for Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent states will be present at the launch. Mr Allen is visiting Georgia to better understand the overall status of children in the country and to discuss UNICEF’s ongoing programming on health, education, child protection and child poverty particularly in light of the global economic crisis. Mr Allen will also see the specific situation of the children most recently affected by the conflict:
"Last summer we were all touched by the broadcast images of children and their families having to pack their essential belongings and flee their homes,” says Mr Allen. “I am keen to see today what has been done to restore normal childhood activity and to ensure basic services for children in the conflict affected areas" he added.
47% of IDPs in the settlements and collective centers lack access to adequate water for daily use as revealed in a UNICEF-supported assessment of water, sanitation and hygiene situation of IDPs launched in June 2009 in collaboration with ACF and IRC. Through SIDA supported project UNICEF, will assist the Government of Georgia in addressing water, sanitation and hygiene needs of the IDPs in 21 collective centers and 35 settlements. In addition to infrastructure the project will also focus on community mobilization and hygiene promotion and ensuring that IDPs have increased knowledge and capacities to protect themselves against water-borne diseases.
Today Mr Allen will visit the conflict affected town of Gori and the IDP settlements in Shavshebi and Berbuki villages. He will accompany Mr Koba Subeliani, Minister of Refugees and Accommodations. Ms Maria Israelsson, SIDA Regional Director in South Caucasus and Ms Giovanna Barberis, UNICEF Representative in Georgia will also be participating in the trip.
For further information, please contact:
Maya Kurtsikidze, Communication Officer, UNICEF Georgia
Nino Dzotsenidze, communication assistant, UNICEF Georgia