The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has committed the sum of $3 million to the African Water Facility (AWF).
This is contained in a statement issued on the African Development Bank’s (AfDB) website.
According to the statement, the funding will support the preparation of water and sanitation investment projects in Africa.
It said this would be done through the provision of grants and technical assistance to African countries and regional economic communities.
The AWF, an initiative of the African Ministers Council on Water (AMCOW), is hosted by the AfDB.
It is the only African project preparation facility solely focused on addressing water and sanitation issues in Africa.
It helps African countries achieve the objectives and targets set by the water-related Sustainable Development Goals and African Water Vision 2025.
And it does this by the preparation of innovative water and sanitation projects across the continent.
It said access to water and sanitation in Sub-Saharan Africa remains poor.
”’Approximately 400 million people lack basic water supply services, while over 700 million people have no access to decent sanitation.
“Nearly 200 million people still practice open defecation, and 750 million people have no access to hygiene.
“Achieving water security and sanitation for all requires large-scale investment in water supply and sanitation, improved governance of water resources and operations, and the design of climate-resilient infrastructure.”
The AfDB explained that since inception, the facility provided 205 million euros in grant funding for water and sanitation projects in Africa.
It said it had also enabled over 1.7 billion euros in downstream investment in the water and sanitation sector.
Dr Beth Dunford, AfDB’s Vice President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development, commended the agency for the funds.
“This USAID financing affirms growing international support for the AWF as a trusted partner and resource for Africa’s water sector.
“We thank the United States for the funding commitment that will contribute to scaling up the Facility’s work and positively impacting more people across the continent.
“Under its 2022 – 2027 Strategy, USAID aims to reach 22 million people with access to safe drinking water and 22 million people with access to sanitation over five years,” she said.
The coordinator for the AWF, Mtchera Chirwa, said the Facility was raising millions of euros to develop investment.
According to Chirwa, the investment will accelerate public and private sector financing of the water sector and deployment of innovation to improve service delivery.
“The support from USAID comes in the lead up to its 2023 funding dialogue in Paris this October, where the facility will engage donors, beneficiary governments, multilateral and international organisations.
“To enhance financing for water and sanitation investment projects in Africa.
“The negative impacts of inadequate access to water and sanitation and poor management of water resources are seen in many countries in Africa.
“The AWF exists to accelerate viable, climate responsive investments by providing grants, technical assistance, and developing catalytic and innovative projects to improve water and sanitation service delivery and water governance in Africa,” he added.