KHARTOUM/JUBA, 6 November 2009 – The Dutch Government has given $23.5 million to UNICEF in Sudan which will be used to provide safe water and improved sanitation for hundreds of thousands of people across the country.
“This very generous contribution by the Dutch Government will have a real impact on saving lives,” said Hilde Johnson UNICEF’s Deputy Executive Director. Every year in Sudan about 60,000 children under the age of five die from diarrhoea, a preventable disease caused in large part by unsafe water and poor sanitation. “This donation will help to provide safe drinking water, sanitary latrines and fund public campaigns targeting hygiene behaviour.”
“Not only will this funding help to reduce the number of children who die each year, it will also help improve the lives of women and girls who often travel many kilometres to collect water for their families, Johnson said.”
Half of this contribution will be used for projects in the transitional areas of Blue Nile State, South Kordofan and Abyei over the next four years.
Southern Sudan will benefit equally from the Dutch funding which will be for projects in Northern Bahr el Ghazal, Eastern Equatoria and Jonglei.
The Dutch Ambassador to Khartoum, Norbert Braakhuis, said he hoped that providing equal access to resources like water, which had often been the source of conflict in Sudan, would help to promote a sustainable peace between different communities.
“Many communities are still very fragile after Sudan’s long civil war. We hope that providing basic services will help people resettle peacefully and build strong ties between different groups,” he added.
The official agreement was signed today by the Dutch Ambassador in Khartoum, Norbert Braakhuis, and UNICEF’s Deputy Executive Director Hilde Johnson, who is currently visiting Sudan. The signing was also attended by UNICEF’s Representative in Sudan, Nils Kastberg.
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UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.
For additional information, please contact:
Amber Henshaw, Chief, Media & External Relations, UNICEF Sudan
Mobile: + 249 (0)912 177 291
Douglas Armour, Communication Manager
Mobile: + (249) (0) 928 278 975 + (249) (0) 913 143 481
Abdel-Rahman Ghandour, Chief Communication, UNICEF Middle East and North Africa
Mobile: + 962 (6) 550 2407
Kathryn Donovan, UNICEF New York,
Tel + 1 212 326 7452,