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European Commission and UNICEF agreed to support Ghana’s effort to eradicate Guinea Worm with a €20 million project

GHANA, 29 May 2007 - The European Commission (EC) and UNICEF announced a total of  €20 million euro assistance for Guinea Worm eradication in nine Guinea Worm endemic districts in the Northern Region of Ghana.  EC and UNICEF will provide €15 and €5 million euro respectively.

The reduction of Guinea Worm cases is expected to improve the socio-economic development of the following affected districts: Central Gonja, East Gonja, Gushiegu, Karaga, Nanumba North Savelugu/Nanton, Tolon/Kumbungu, Yendi and Zabzugu/Tatale. The project is set to start in June 2007 till December 2011.

Liv Elden Djokoto, Acting Representative, UNICEF Ghana said: “Children who suffer from the pain caused by Guinea Worm, can often not study or play for months.  Children have a right to grow up healthy in a safe and clean environment. ”

In addition to achieving a 90 per cent decrease in the number of Guinea Worm cases in the targeted areas a decrease in diarrhoeal incidents among children under five is also expected due to the EC-UNICEF funded interventions.

The project aims to increase access to, and the use of safe drinking water through the provision of 270 new boreholes, 80 rehabilitated boreholes, 20 dug wells, 60 limited mechanised systems and 30 alternative water supply systems. Furthermore, the project aims to increase basic sanitation delivery and coverage with the construction of 48,000 latrines, and finally enhanced improved hygiene behaviour practices with a focus on hand washing.

H. E. Ambassador, Filiberto Ceriani Sebregondi, Head of Delegation of the EC in Ghana said: “This project will contribute to EC's support to Ghana's Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy on the provision of Water Supply and Sanitation facilities in the country.”

This intervention builds on previous EC's support for the provision of rural water supply in Ghana. Since 1998, the EC has supported rural water supply in Ghana with the provision of potable water to 30 small towns in Western, Brong-Ahafo and Ashanti Regions at a cost of €15.75 million; construction of 400 boreholes, 2000 latrines and water supply systems in 13 small towns in the Northern Region (2002-2007) costing €14.8 million and the  provision of water and sanitation facilities for 40 small towns in the Central and Western Region for €23 million.

Since the mid-90’s, UNICEF has been supporting Guinea Worm eradication efforts through surveillance of water control, provision of portable water and hygiene behavioural change.  UNICEF has been the coordinator of water delivery in endemic villages, and also played a leading role in hygiene behavioural change.

Issued jointly by the Delegation of the European Commission and UNICEF


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 more information please contact:

Richard Osei Anane, Head, Press and Information Section, Delegation of the European Commission in Ghana: Tel + 021-774094; 774236; 774202 - 0244-313352; 0242-215976.

Junko Mitani, Communication specialist, UNICEF Ghana: Tel +  021.772524 ; 777972 ext.1237




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