US helps fund water projects

An African child with cupped hands drinking water from a tap

WATER AID The African Water Facility welcomes the donation of $3-million which is being made by The United States Agency for International Development

7th July 2023


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The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) announced last month that it has committed $3-million to the African Water Facility (AWF).

The funding will support the preparation of water and sanitation investment projects in Africa, through the provision of grants and technical assistance to African countries and regional economic communities.

AWF, an initiative of the African Ministers Council on Water, is hosted by the African Development Bank (AfDB).

It is the only African project preparation facility solely focused on addressing water and sanitation issues in Africa and aims to help African countries achieve the objectives and targets set by the water-related Sustainable Development Goals and African Water Vision 2025.

It does this by preparing innovative projects across the continent.

Access to water and sanitation in sub-Saharan Africa remains poor, with about 400-million people lacking basic water supply services, while over 700-million people have no access to decent sanitation.

Achieving water security and sanitation for all requires large-scale investment in water supply and sanitation, improved governance of water resources and operations, and the design of climate-resilient infrastructure.

Since inception, AWF has provided €205-million in grant funding for water and sanitation projects in Africa and enabled over €1.7-billion in downstream investment in the water and sanitation sector.

“This USAID financing affirms growing international support for the AWF as a trusted partner and resource for Africa's water sector,” says AfDB agriculture, human and social development VP Dr Beth Dunford.

She adds that the bank is grateful to the US for the funding commitment that will contribute to scaling up AWF’s work and positively impacting more people across the continent.

Under its 2022 – 2027 Strategy, USAID aims to reach 22-million people with access to safe drinking water and 22-million people with access to sanitation over five years.

AWF is raising millions of euros to develop investments that will accelerate public and private sector financing of the water sector and deployment of innovation to improve service delivery.

The support from USAID comes in the lead up to its 2023 funding dialogue in Paris this October, with the facility set to engage donors, beneficiary governments, and multilateral and international organisations to enhance financing for African water and sanitation investment projects.

AWF coordinator Mtchera Chirwa

says the AWF exists to accelerate viable, climate responsive investments by providing grants, technical assistance, and developing catalytic and innovative projects to improve water and sanitation service delivery and water governance in Africa.

The Facility’s revised Strategic Plan 2017–2025 will endeavour to mobilise resources to increase the delivery of bankable investment projects in water and sanitation across the continent.

This is expected to enable access to climate-resilient and safely managed water supply for 2.6-million people and provide basic sanitation facilities to 2.4-million people.

Edited by Nadine James
Features Deputy Editor




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