UK to provide £80 mln to Ethiopia to improve access to safe drinking water

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Addis Ababa, 21 January 2014 (WIC) - The United Kingdom (UK) has pledged to provide £80 million support to Ethiopia to improve access to safe drinking water, according to the Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy.

Water, Irrigation and Energy State Minister Kebede Gerba told WIC that the financial aid agreement is expected to be signed soon between UK and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MoFED) of Ethiopia.

The support would help Ethiopia attain the Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) in the water sector, Kebede said.

In addition to UK’s pledge, the government of Ethiopia has been endeavoring to solicit more than 450 million US dollars to further improve the access, he said.

Ethiopia has set a target of raising its potable water coverage to 98 per cent at the end of the Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) period from 68.4 per cent now, he noted.

More than 21.2 million people across the country have got access to safe drinking water during the first three years of the GTP period, according to Kebede.

Activities are also underway to make over 15 million people (2.1 million in urban and 13.1 million in rural areas) beneficiaries of safe drinking water this Ethiopian budget year, he said.

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