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Haiti receives $39 million from Spain and IDB to improve water and sanitation services

The Inter-American Development Bank and the Government of Spain will provide a total of $39 million in grants and loans to Haiti in the first stage of an unprecedented partnership to tackle water and sanitation problems afflicting Latin America’s poorest communities.  

This is the first project jointly funded by the IDB and Spanish Cooperation Fund for Water and Sanitation in Latin America and the Caribbean (the Spanish Fund), which was created last year at the initiative of Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero.

The IDB and the Government of Spain signed an agreement in July 2009 to jointly finance and execute projects with a portion of the Spanish Fund’s grants. The partnership will take advantage of the IDB’s extensive portfolio of water and sanitation projects, as well as its network of sector specialists in country offices throughout the region, to rapidly and efficiently execute projects identified as priorities by Latin American and Caribbean governments.  

In Haiti, the Spanish Fund will contribute $20 million and the IDB another $19 million, both in grants, to help expand and improve water and sanitation services for around 150,000 people Saint-Marc, Port-De Paix, Les Cayes, Jacmel, Ouanaminthe and Cap-Haitien.

The IDB and Spain have also agreed to provide $100 in grants and loans to Bolivia (see link at right), are expected to jointly finance projects in Brasil, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Paraguay, Peru, the Dominican Republic and Uruguay between now and mid-2010. In all, Spain will contribute $407 million in grants to these projects, while the IDB will contribute $213 million in grants and loans, while also assuming the bulk of the project preparation and execution costs. Governments in the region will contribute an additional $77 million in counterpart funds. Around 4 million people in low-income urban and rural communities are expected to benefit directly from these projects.

“This partnership is a historic gesture of solidarity by the people of Spain toward our region,” said IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno. “These generous grants will enable us to leverage IDB funds and finance much more ambitious projects that will improve the health and quality of life of millions of people in some of the Hemisphere’s poorest communities.”  

Haiti's water and sanitation services are among the most deficient in the Hemisphere. The country has no sewer networks and, according to the 2003 census, only 8.5 percent of its households are connected to a drinking water distribution system.

To tackle this situation, $14.2 million will help expand the drinking water coverage. This component will increase access to potable water for a population of about 150,000 and will finance the expansion and rehabilitation of Jacmel's distribution system; the construction of water networks in peri-urban areas in Port de Paix and St Marc; rehabilitation and extension of the network in Cap-Haitien; and the installation of additional public stand pipes.

Another $17 million of the total $39 million in grants will be used to help finance individual and collective sanitary systems installation, develop waste collection, transportation and disposal systems, facilitate maintenance of storm drainage systems, and support public hygiene programs. A key goal of these efforts will be to reduce the incidence of waterborne tropical diseases.

The funds will also finance the institutional and technical strengthening of the National Directorate of Potable Water and Sanitation (DINEPA), as well as a campaign to eradicate parasitic worms associated with poor water and sanitation services, with particular emphasis on treatment of children between the ages of 1 and 12 years.

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