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DFID providing UNICEF with new funding to help Zambia reach health and environment MDGs with Equity

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Three million people in rural areas to gain access to improved sanitation

LUSAKA, Zambia, 09 January 2012 (UNICEF) -- The United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) is supporting the UNICEF sanitation and hygiene programme in Zambia with a contribution of £19 million (152 trillion Zambian Kwacha) over a period of four years.

Mike Hammond, Head of the DFID office in Zambia, said, “Poor sanitation and hygiene currently present a massive health burden, especially to children under five and women. With UK aid, Zambia should be able to meet the MDG target of halving the proportion of the population without sustainable access to basic sanitation.”

The DFID assistance will enable 3 million people in rural areas, including 500,000 school children, to access improved sanitation. It will also help to increase the number of households that will be able to wash their hands with a hand cleansing agent such as soap or ash.

UNICEF Zambia Representative Dr. Iyorlumun J. Uhaa said, “With this support, which is greatly appreciated, we will be able to work with the Government of the Republic of Zambia to accelerate progress towards meeting the sanitation MDGs, which will contribute significantly to saving the lives of millions of Zambian children from deadly waterborne diseases.”

The funds will enable UNICEF to support the construction of latrines in 1,000 schools, strengthen the private sector to help households improve their existing latrines, and introduce a national campaign to promote good hygiene practices at the community level. The funds will also be used to scale-up Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS), an innovative approach which aims to help local communities build simple, low-cost latrines rather than using communal open spaces.