A new partnership has been launched today between the European Union, UNICEF and the Government of Kiribati to provide improved access to water, sanitation and better hygiene for communities living in the most remote islands in Kiribati: Kiritimati, Teraina and Tabuaeran, in the Line group.

In
the Line and Phoenix Islands, about one in every two children do not
have access to basic sanitation while also grappling with the on-going
impacts of climate change. With the EUR 6.25 million support provided by
the EU, UNICEF will work together with the Government of Kiribati to
raise awareness of good water, sanitation and hygiene practices, deliver
services for improved sanitation and hygiene through installation and
repair of facilities as well as strengthen community and household
resilience.

“The EU assistance of EUR 6.25 M provided today for Kiribati will improve access to water, sanitation and hygiene, a critical sector in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak. This EU assistance aligns with the priorities of Kiribati, as expressed in Kiribati Vision 20, to promote the outer islands of the Line Group. This EU assistance, to be implemented by UNICEF, also shows a continued commitment to the multilateral system, under the umbrella of the United Nations,’’ said the Ambassador of the European Union for the Pacific, HE Sujiro Seam.

This
4.5 year partnership will build resilience for about 11,000 I-Kiribati,
with approximately 4,000 of these children attending 12 schools and 28
early childhood care and education centres.

“Access to proper sanitation and hygiene is critical for children’s right to health and wellbeing. We thank the European Union for
this support, and together with the Government of Kiribati, communities
and partners such as the Pacific Community, we will ensure that those
children living in some of the most remote areas globally will have
access to clean water, sanitation and better hygiene,” said UNICEF
Pacific Representative, Sheldon Yett.

UNICEF
will be working closely with the Government of Kiribati to address
water, sanitation and hygiene issues among the growing population in the
Line Islands. Through addressing sanitation and hygiene with a focus on
resilience and gender, this project will assist Kiribati in achieving
its strategic goal of sustainable development.

“In
the expectations and voices of the people of the Line Group, who are
the center and key beneficiaries of this project, we look forward to
have a resilient water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) infrastructure
that can stand the impacts of climate change. With the support of the
newly introduced Rebate System, we are committed to implement a
household-based WASH infrastructure that complies with the required and
quality standards. While these improve our access to adequate and
equitable sanitation and hygiene that will elevate our health and
livelihoods standards, they also promote our sense of ownership and
contribution to the project,” said the Kiribati High Commissioner to
Fiji, H.E. David A. Teaabo.

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