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Ecuador will increase rural coverage of water and sanitation services with help from Spain and the IDB

Ecuador will increase the coverage of efficient and sustainable water and sanitation services in rural communities of up to 20,000 inhabitants with a combination of $20 million in grants from the Government of Spain and $30 million in loans from the Inter-American Development Bank, through a program approved today by the IDB’s Board.

The grant will be provided by the Spanish Cooperation Fund for Water and Sanitation in Latin America and the Caribbean (Spanish Fund), which has partnered with the IDB to finance several other projects throughout the region.

Ecuador’s Rural Water and Sanitation Infrastructure Program (PIRSA, for its initials in Spanish) will install, expand, and improve water systems and provide sanitation solutions in low-income rural areas where these services are either absent or deficient. It will also finance activities to strengthen the management capacity of communities, operators, and local governments to deliver services, and bolster the capacity of the central government agency and regulator responsible for these services.

Local governments will execute the infrastructure projects through financing agreements to be signed with the Banco del Estado, Ecuador’s principal development finance institution, and under the supervision of the Ministry of Urban Development and Housing.

The program reflects the intentions of Ecuador’s 2008 Constitution and its National Water and Sanitation Policy, which decentralized responsibility for the delivery of water and sanitation services and made local governments responsible for those services.

This is the 11th drinking water and sanitation coverage expansion and improvement project jointly carried out by the IDB and the Spanish Fund. The Fund was launched in 2008 by initiative of Spanish President José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero.

Spain and the IDB have jointly financing water and sanitation services through projects in countries including Haiti, El Salvador, Peru, Bolivia, Guatemala, Brasil and Uruguay. The partnership is also preparing projects in Honduras, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic.