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Eritrea, 19 February 2013: UK donates USD$15 million to UNICEF’s WASH, health and nutrition programmes

ASMARA, 19 February, 2013 – UNICEF’s work in Eritrea received a boost this week with a USD 15 million contribution from the UK’s Department of International Development (DFID). The funding will be used to support programmes in water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), as well as health and nutrition over a two year period.

“Eritrea is a country where a small investment can make a big impact,” said Dr. Hamid El Bashir, UNICEF Representative. “With the commitment of everyone, from government officials to members of villages, the generous contribution will go a long way in meeting the needs of the most vulnerable children and women in the country.”

Dr. Amanda Tanfield, the UK Ambassador to Eritrea, commended the Government for the progress being made in making safe drinking water accessible for hard-to-reach communities, as well as raising awareness on sanitation and hygiene at the community level. Dr. Tanfield just recently concluded a field visit, during which she saw firsthand the impressive work done led by the Government, UNICEF and other partners.

H.E. Tesfai Gebreselasie, Minister of Land, Water and Environment thanked DFID for investing in children and women of Eritrea. He stressed that the Government is committed to ensuring the money reach the most in need.

DFID is a major donor to UNICEF Eritrea, which has been operating since the country gained independence in 1991. Although the country has achieved significant progress for its children, and is one of a few in sub-Saharan Africa that are on track to reach MDG 4 of reducing child mortality by two-thirds, challenges and inequality continue to persist, particularly in the areas of WASH, health and nutrition.


UNICEF works in more than 190 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 more information about UNICEF and its work visit:

For further information, please contact:

Charlene Thompson, Communication Specialist, UNICEF Eritrea, 



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