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UK gives 37 million USD to boost the attainment of MDG on Water and Sanitation in DR Congo

Kinshasa, January 6, 2009 - UNICEF Representative to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Pierrette Vu Thi together with British Secretary for International Cooperation, Alexander Douglas signed a cooperation agreement for an estimated US$37 million dollars during a ceremony held this afternoon.

The ceremony took place in Kinshasa, as part of Mr. Douglas’ official visit to the DRC and was witnessed by Mr. Nick Kay, UK Ambassador to the DRC, the Minister
for Primary, Secondary and Professional Education and the Secretary General for the Ministry of Public Health. Both ministries are the primary implementing partners of
WASH activities for UNICEF-DRC.

The programme supports the national strategy of promoting improved access to water, sanitation and hygiene in rural and peri-urban communities throughout the country through the Healthy Village and Healthy School initiative.

The US$ 37million grant will be disbursed through UNICEF over a period of four years. Speaking at the ceremony, Pierrette Vu Thi, UNICEF Representative expressed her gratitude for the generous contribution to the Congolese people from the government of the United Kingdom. The grant will place the DRC on track towards meeting millennium development goal number 7- halving, by 2015, the proportion of the population without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation.

The grant will benefit an estimated 9 million Congolese in 12,500 communities and over 750,000 primary school children who will have increased access to safe drinking water, hygiene education materials and hygienic sanitation facilities, contributing to the reduction of preventable diseases.

For further information, please contact:
Pierrette Vu Thi, UNICEF DRC, + 243 81 3330202,
Joyce Brandful, UNICEF DRC, + 243 81 8846746,



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