Addis Ababa — A 15-million-Euros grant agreement aimed to develop "safely managed" sanitation services, improve water supply services in the capital city and 22 secondary cities as well as support the eradication of open-air defecation was signed between the governments of Ethiopia and France.
During the signing ceremony, Finance State Minister Yasmin Wohabrebbi said the grant will contribute to the Second Urban Water Supply and Sanitation Program (UWSSPII) to support the Ethiopian government's efforts to sanitation.
According to her, the program would benefit about 3.9 million inhabitants through specifically financing direct access to safe sanitation services and improved hygiene practices for Ethiopian citizens in selected urban areas among the beneficiary secondary cities.
"In a country exhibiting an elevated demographic and urban growth, water and sanitation issues are at the heart of national priorities for health, social and environmental reasons," Yasmin pointed out, adding that lack of adequate sanitation infrastructure not only jeopardizes the health of many citizens but also puts women and girls significantly at risk of harassment and sexual assault and has a major impact on their ability to manage their menstrual hygiene."
The state minister further elaborated that the grant also aims to increase the impacts of the program in favor of social inclusion and gender equality in selected secondary cities.
Following the signing of the grant agreement, Minister Delegate for Foreign Trade and Economic Attractiveness Frank Riester affirmed his country's commitment to continue supporting the Ethiopia reform initiated by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.
Ethiopia and France established diplomatic relations in 1897.