Finland contributes €2 million to UNICEF’s Water Sanitation and Hygiene programme in Afghanistan
Funds will enable children and families in Afghanistan to access safe drinking water, sanitation, healthy environments and improved hygiene practices.
The flexible grant is part of Finland’s continued commitment to Afghanistan and follows a previous grant of similar size that provided gender-separated toilets, handwashing facilities and menstrual hygiene management that benefited almost 55,000 students in 102 schools.
Improvements in water and sanitation facilities in schools have a positive impact on attendance, quality of learning and well-being of students, especially girls.
The new funding will further reinforce this area of work, and support deprived communities to reach open defecation-free status, to access and use safely managed drinking water, and to disseminate information on the importance of hygiene practices.
Ambassador of Finland in Afghanistan, Hannu Ripatti, said, “We are happy to continue supporting the UNICEF water, sanitation and hygiene programme that provides concrete results for women and children in line with National Priorities.” Acknowledging Finland’s partnership and generous contribution, UNICEF Representative in Afghanistan, Adele Khodr, highlighted the importance of clean water, sanitation and hygiene practices on health outcomes.
“Through encouraging handwashing with soap in schools, and the use of clean water and sanitary environments, we can help to prevent diarrhea and the subsequent onset or worsening of stunting and malnutrition.
Washing hands with soap can reduce diarrhea by up to 42 per cent and is one of the most cost effective ways to prevent cases,” said Ms. Khodr.
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