Wien, 8. January 2013 Press release

Lopatka: "Austrian Development Agency to be endowed with 30 million euros to implement EU water programme"

The United Nations declares 2013 as the International Year of Water Cooperation

Vienna, 8 January 2013 - "Nearly 800 million people have no access to clean drinking water.2.5 billion people live without any sanitary facilities", State Secretary Reinhold Lopatka said at the start of the International Year of Water Cooperation of the UN.Aiming to motivate states and organisations worldwide to cooperate more closely in matters of sustainable water and sanitary supply, the United Nations Organisation has declared the year 2013 as International Year of Water Cooperation.

"The Austrian Development Agency (ADA) will implement a European Commission project over the next four years that will provide sanitary facilities for 350,000 people in the small rural towns of Uganda and facilitate their access to clean drinking water. The European Commission has earmarked 30 million euros for this purpose", Lopatka said.

Austria has been contributing to the efficient water supply and sanitation in many small towns and rural areas of Uganda for 16 years. "60,000 people in all four regions of Uganda already have access to clean drinking water and better sanitary facilities thanks to Austria's support", Lopatka said. "Our experience was the reason why we have been entrusted with the Commission's project."

"Clean water is vital for survival. Better water supply and sanitation can help save 3.5 million lives every year", Lopatka said. "Water has been high on Austria's agenda for many years. Our expertise in this area has an outstanding international reputation." In Rwanda, 450 kilometres of water pipelines have been installed with Austrian support, and the Austrian Development Cooperation only recently joined the cross-border water resource management of the Global Water Partnership in the catchment area of the Akanyaru River between Rwanda and Burundi.

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