Ethiopia and France have signed an agreement for the development and implementation of “safely managed” sanitation services. The agreement includes a financing plan that establishes a 15 million EUR fund.
Speaking at the signing event, French Finance Minister Yasmin Wohabrebbi said that the funds will support the Second Urban Water Supply and Sanitation Program (UWSSPII). According to her, the program is intended to supply safe and viable sanitation services to more than 3.9 million inhabitants in rural Ethiopia.
The agreement is also intended to improve water supply services in Addis Ababa and 22 other cities along with supporting the eradication of open-air defecation. The Minister asserted that due to the increasing population and urbanization of the country, a re-orientation around water and sanitation is critical.
Sanitation’s impact on women was also referred to as studies show that women and girls are disproportionately affected by the deficiency in sanitation infrastructure. Not only are women affected disproportionately in terms of health (specifically menstrual hygiene), but shortcomings also increase their exposure to sexual harassment and assault, according to the minister.
Given recent agreements between the French Government and Ethiopia’s Ministry of Women, Children, and Youth to cooperate on gender equity and inclusivity, the sanitation agreement is expected to contribute to the holistic realization of that goal.