EU € 51.51 million Millennium Development Goals Initiative to support improved access to drinking water and sanitation in Tanzania (22/12/2011)

The European Commission has decided to allocate € 51.51 million (TZS 108 billion) to the United Republic of Tanzania in the framework of its Millennium Development Goals Initiative. The funds will support improved access to drinking water for an estimated 500,000 people and access to sanitation services for some 140,000 inhabitants of the towns of Lindi, Sumbawanga and Kigoma, based on a proposal from the Government of Tanzania discussed with all relevant stakeholders.

This intervention, funded out of the 10th European Development Fund, is additional to the € 555 million financial envelope under the Country Strategy and National Indicative Programme for Tanzania and is meant to boost efforts to achieve MDG 7 on environmental sustainability by 2015.

The MDG Initiative was announced by European Commission President José Manuel Barroso at the UN High Level Summit of September 2010. Under the Initiative the European Commission decided to devote up to €1 billion to advance progress on most offtrack MDGs in African, Caribbean and Pacific partner countries, in recognition of their performance, engagement and needs. 56 proposals from African Caribbean and Pacific countries were received. Proposals from Tanzania were amongst 35 withheld for funding.

Access to drinking water and basic sanitation are essential in the fight against poverty. Millions, especially children, die each year from diseases related to unsafe water, or for lack of access to water. Millions more are forced to waste whole days of work or school just to fetch water from remote locations. The numbers of those forced to emigrate by drought and climate change climb every year. Despite overall progress in drinking water coverage and basic sanitation provision, in developing countries entire areas, especially rural, are lagging behind.

EU Ambassador designate Sebregondi said "The European Union, as the world leading donor contributing with around 56% of total global aid, remains firmly committed to reaching the Millennium Development Goals by 2015."