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Haiti will rehabilitate and expand water and sanitation in Port-au-Prince with grants from Spain and the IDB

Haiti will rehabilitate and expand water and sanitation in Port-au-Prince with a $35 million grant provided by the Spanish Cooperation Fund for Water and Sanitation in Latin America and the Caribbean (Spanish Fund) and a $15 million grant approved today by the Inter-American Development Bank.

The funds will be used to strengthen the institutional capacity of Haiti’s National Water and Sanitation Directorate (DINEPA), and to finance the rehabilitation of the water network and the expansion of services in a sustainable manner.

Around $29.5 million in grants from the Spanish Fund will be used to high-priority investments to repair damaged water and sanitation infrastructure and expand services. This will include repairing reservoirs damaged in the January 12 earthquake; rehabilitating pumping stations, water mains and wells; repairing leaks; providing water to resettlements; installing water meters; purchasing generators and installing water kiosks where connections are not available.

A second component of the program will devote $17 million to provide operational assistance to DINEPA and to cover near-term operation and maintenance costs. These funds will be used to support day-to-day operation, help establish basic administrative and commercial systems, prepare and implement investment programs, and assess viable options for improving services.

Finally, around $500,000 in grants will used to finance a subcomponent of the program that will assist Haiti’s Ministry of Health with campaigns to combat common Lymphatic Filariasis (elephantiasis) and parasites known as Soil Transmitted Helminthes. Control of these diseases is closely related to the availability of clean water and sanitation, and the funds will be used to administer drugs and carry out health and hygiene education campaigns linked to the expansion of water services.

This is the eighth 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.

In October 2009, Spain contributed $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 in the Haitian cities of Saint-Marc, Port-De Paix, Les Cayes, Jacmel, Ouanaminthe and Cap-Haitien. In April 2010, the IDB Board of Directors approved a second rural water and sanitation project for the department of Artibonite financed entirely with a US$10 million grant from the Spanish Fund. The IDB is also currently executing a US$15 million program to expand these services in rural areas of the departments of Grande Anse, Nippes, Artibonite and Ouest.

Spain last year also created a $100 million bilateral fund to finance the reform and modernization of the water and sanitation sector in Haiti. The program is expected to benefit all 9 million Haitians, boosting access to basic services and allowing for the full implementation of Haiti’s new institutional framework for water and sanitation.

Spain and the IDB have expanded drinking water and sanitation services through projects either approved or already under way in countries including Peru, Bolivia and Guatemala (see links on the right). The partnership is also preparing projects focusing on rural and peri-urban areas of Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, and Uruguay.

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