The European Union and the Tanzanian government have signed an agreement worth euro 51.51million (equivalent to 108bn/-) in the framework of its Millennium Development Goals Initiative for the improvement of access to drinking water and hygiene.
The funds will support improved access to drinking water for an estimated 500,000 people and access to sanitation service for some 140,000 inhabitants in Lindi, Sumbawanga and Kigoma, EU Ambassador to Tanzania Filiberto Ceriani Sebregondi said in Dar es salaam yesterday.
The intervention is in addition to euro 555million earmarked for the financial envelop under the Strategies and National Indicative Programme for Tanzania, which is meant to boost efforts to achieve MDG 7 on environmental sustainability by 215, he said.
He said the European Union, as the world's leading donor, remained firmly committed to supporting the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.
For his part, Finance Deputy Minister Dr. Servacius Likwelile appreciated the support by the European Union in improving the lives of Tanzanians through the attainment MDGs.
He said that Tanzania was on track in attaining MDGs on universal education and reduction of infant mortality, adding that the country however still lagged behind in poverty reduction, gender equality, maternal mortality, access to safe drinking water, reduction of malnutrition and prevalence of HIV/Aids rates.
“As we approach the deadline for achieving MDGs in 2015 the fund will play an important role in boosting the efforts to achieve MDG 7 for supporting our government’s programme for economic growth and poverty reduction," said Likwelile.
The MDG Initiative was announced by European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso at the UN high level summit of September 2010. Under the initiative the European Union decide to devote up to euro one billion to advance progress on most off–track MDGs in Africa, the Caribbean and Pacific partner countries.