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UNICEF, the Coca-Cola Africa Foundation and partners join forces to improve water quality in Egypt

CAIRO, 5 August 2007 - UNICEF and the Coca-Cola Africa Foundation have launched a partnership to provide Egyptians in rural and urban areas with wider access to improved water services.

Working with the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation (MWRI), USAID and International Resources Group (IRG) under the newly-formed Global Development Alliance, the partnership will focus on two of Egypt’s governorates to improve the quality of water resources, reducing water health hazards, and increasing water productivity.

The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation is providing financial support to UNICEF’s activities in the project by contributing $250,000 – half of which will go towards community awareness campaigns. USAID and the MWRI will contribute an additional $250,000 each towards the initiative, along with $90,000 from UNICEF.

In many areas in Egypt, water quality is critically undermined by the dumping of inadequately treated domestic, agricultural and industrial wastes in waterways. This in turn diminishes water availability, impacts negatively on health and ultimately the economy of the nation.

"The contamination of water supplies from improper disposal of liquid and solid wastes to canals and drains is a serious problem in Egypt that is being aggravated by the rapid growth of the nation’s population as well as the fixed and limited water resources," said UNICEF Egypt Deputy Representative Hannan Sulieman. "This new alliance focuses on the role of local rural communities in water management and encouraging greater civic responsibility.”

Presently, only a handful of Egypt’s 4,500 villages have proper waste water disposal systems or municipal solid waste management. The project will introduce low cost alternative methods for waste water treatment and practical methods for solid waste disposal and management.  About 80,000 people are expected to be reached by this project, which will be implemented in rural communities in the governorates of Gharbiya and Qena.

UNICEF’s role will be focused on community awareness campaigns and training that will both provide information to the public about healthy water resource management and mobilize community members in the preservation and improvement of their water facilities. Assessment surveys will be used to tailor the awareness campaigns for specific communities.

The project in Egypt adds to the growing list of collaborative water projects between Coca-Cola and USAID. To date, the two partners have invested over $9.5 million in joint water projects in eleven African countries, as well as Bolivia and Indonesia. These partnership projects demonstrate how government, business and the NGO community can engage to solve global water problems in innovative ways. 

“The Coca-Cola Company is committed to contributing to social and environmental development causes worldwide,” said William Asiko, President of The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation. “Water safety and sustainability is a crucial issue that impacts the entire nation and we believe that our company can play an important role in supporting efforts towards achieving this goal.”

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.

About The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation
The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation (TCCAF) was created in 2001 to manage the community investments of the Coca-Cola System in Africa. Over the last five years, it has invested substantially in the areas of education, health and the environment.  TCCAF is partnering with communities, NGOs, governments and corporates to deliver an integrated response to Africa’s challenges.

For more information contact:

Michael Bociurkiw, UNICEF Egypt Media,
Tel: + 202 2526 5083 through 5087 (ext. 208/ 210), E-mail: mbociurkiw@unicef.org
Mobile: 012 214 2567

Ghada Abdelhamid Makady, The Coca-Cola Company
Tel:+ 202-22767163, E-mail: gabdelhamid@mena.ko.com




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