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EU supports development of WASH services in rural areas of Papua New Guinea

Port Moresby, 20 October 2017 – The European Union (EU) endeavours to support the Government of Papua New Guinea in increasing access to safe, adequate and sustainable water supply, sanitation and improved hygiene practices in line with the national WASH policy 2015-2030.

In order to achieve these objectives, the EU will contribute to UNICEF’s intervention in the sector to improve the quality of life for the children, women and men of Papua New Guinea.

Access to clean water is one of UNICEF’s and the EU’s top priorities. It is not only one of the world’s most urgent health issues but is also key for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

In Papua New Guinea, households have the least access to safe water supply on the planet, according to the 2015 WHO and UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme report. In addition, there is a huge disparity in access to water and sanitation coverage between the urban and rural population. This means that more than half the population lacks access to safe water sources or sanitation.

The project aims to reach 40,000 school children in up to 200 schools in four districts and provide more than 30,000 patients, mothers and new-borns safe water supply, improved sanitation facilities by the time the project ends in 2021. It is hoped that the communities that benefit from this program will have as a result increased knowledge on sanitation and hygiene and key decision makers will be influenced to invest further in this sector.

EU will contribute PGK 80 million for the successful implementation of this project.

“We are grateful for EU’s continuous support for life-saving interventions addressing water and sanitation,” said Ms. Karen Allen, UNICEF Representative OIC to Papua New Guinea

“We know that the funding will significantly improve the health and wellbeing of children. Every child has the right to water, sanitation and hygiene education and facilities. Unfortunately, the lack of access to safe water and sanitation services, coupled with poor hygiene practices, can lead to morbidity and mortality rates of children.”

Ambassador Ioannis Giogkarakis-Argyropoulos meanwhile said that “safe water, sanitation and hygiene is critical to people especially women and children in rural communities who are vulnerable to water borne diseases. Several community development activities can be used to achieve WASH objectives including awareness and learning programmes. The EU is keen to support the initiative of UNICEF which will contribute towards Papua New Guinea Government’s aim to provide basic affordable water, sanitation and hygiene accessible to everyone.”

The concerted efforts of UNICEF with the EU, the Government of Papua New Guinea and other partners, will build long term resilience and strengthen the Government to implement the five-year national strategy of the National WASH Policy 2015-2030.

It will build the capacity of the WASH Programme Management Unit in its path to becoming the national Water Sanitation and Hygiene Authority and central agencies, provincial and District Development Authorities to plan, budget and finance, regulate, implement and monitor district wide WASH plans.



Media Contacts:

For more information and interview opportunities, please contact:

Cifora Monier, Communication Specialist, UNICEF

T: +675.7031.6366 / E:

Neraemarimahu Haihavu, Press and Information Officer, European Union

T: 308.2400 / E:


UNICEF and the European Union strive to ensure that all children enjoy the right to education, adequate nutrition, safe water, sanitation and health, and that they are protected from discrimination, exploitation, violence and abuse. For more information, please visit:



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