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Launch of 11th EDF funded WASH Project

THE RIGHT HONOURABLE MINISTER OF PLANNING AND MONITORING – Richard Maru

YOUR EXCELLENCY, HEAD OF THE EUROPEAN UNION DELEGATION AMBASSADOR Ioannis Giogkarakis- Argyropoulos

SENIOR GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS

MEMBERS OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY

MEMBERS OF THE CIVIL SOCIETY

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN OF THE PRESS

DISTINGUISHED GUESTS

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN

It is my privilege to be here and to make a few remarks on this important occasion for the children and women of Papua New Guinea at the launch of the 11th European Union Development funded WASH Project.

We appreciate and give credit to the government of Papua New Guinea for launching the first national WASH Policy 2015-2030, which is the first of its kind in Papua New Guinea and in the world.

Many countries have standalone Water or Sanitation policies. Policies which cover hygiene or water and that are consequently limited. However, Papua New Guinea has led the way in formulating a holistic policy on water, sanitation and hygiene.

Improved hygiene practices are essential, along with improving access to drinking water and sanitation to fully reap the benefits of improved sanitation and hygiene. The Government of Papua New Guinea has boldly embraced the ambitious target to reach 75% of the population in the rural areas and 85% of the urban population. All schools and health centers will be equipped with improved WASH facilities by 2030.

The lack of unimproved WASH access and facilities is a huge barrier to children in accessing education, particularly adolescent girls. According to a baseline assessment in 2015, only about 50% of schools had one functional toilet for boys and girls. Thus, it is a big challenge for adolescent girls to attend classes on a regular basis.

We would like to commend the Government of Papua New Guinea for establishing the WASH Programme Management Unit, developing the Costed Implementation Strategy, and setting up the plan for an institutional structure to implement the WASH policy.

We would also like to acknowledge the Department of Education in setting up the WASH in schools unit, for drafting the WASH in schools policy and standards, and mandating all schools to fund WASH through their school learning improvement plan.

Appreciation is also due to the Ministry of Health for their efforts in improving WASH facilities in health amenities, which is critical for maternal and child health.

Through the 11th EDF fund - the European Union supports the implementation of the National WASH Policy of Papua New Guinea. The EU-UNICEF Multi Donor Action project will run from 2017 to 2021.

A total of 200 schools and up to 36 health centers in four districts will receive safe water supply, improved sanitation and handwashing facilities.

The project will also support the design of the provincial WASH implementation strategy and build capacity of at-least four District Development Authorities. These authorities will develop a five year WASH action, budget and implementation plan that will monitor and track the achievement and eventually institutionalize a sustainable WASH service delivery arrangement at the District Development Authority level.

Let me conclude by saying that the commitment from the Government of Papua New Guinea and the support from the European Union is key to ensuring improved access to safe water supply, sanitation and hygiene for all Papua New Guineans.

 Thank you.


Dr. Karen Allen

UNICEF Representative, OIC

 

 
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