Dominican Republic to expand access to water and sanitation with funding from Spain and the IDB

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WASHINGTON, USA — The Dominican Republic will provide or improve water and sanitation services for at least 205,000 people in low-income rural and peri-urban communities using financial support from the government of Spain and the Inter-American Development Bank.

Spain will provide $35 million grants from the Spanish Cooperation Fund for Water and Sanitation in Latin America and the Caribbean (Spanish Fund), which has partnered with the IDB to finance several other projects throughout the region. The IDB will provide $35 million in loans.

The funds will enable the Dominican Republic to help expand the coverage of efficient, sustainable water and sanitation services in seven provinces with high poverty levels: Independencia, Barahona, San Pedro de Macorís, San Cristóbal,Bahoruco, San Juan, and Elías Piña.

The program will deconcentrate the delivery of water and sanitation services in urban and peri-urban areas in those seven provinces to four regional offices of the Instituto Nacional de Aguas Potables y Alcantarillados (INAPA, the national water and sanitation institute). In rural areas, the service will be delegated to Asociaciones Comunitarias de Acueductos Rurales (rural community water associations). In both cases, the program will provide administrative, technical and operational support to these offices as well as human resources, training and equipment.

Funds will also be used to strengthen commercial, technical/operational, and administrative management at INAPA’s main offices so it can better deliver services in the other provinces under its responsibility and perform its planning and supervisory functions in the provinces for which service is to be deconcentrated.

By 2015, the program is expected to finance the construction or rehabilitation of at least 100 water and sanitation systems in rural areas and build or rehabilitate at least 20 water systems in urban and peri-urban areas along with at least 12 sanitation systems, potentially benefitting approximately 205,000 people. The program will also help the Dominican Republic to meet the Millennium Development Goals in water and sanitation.

The program is expected to produce significant improvements in the overall efficiency and sustainability of water and sanitation system. In addition, the program is projected to install at least 10,000 water meters in urban settings, a measure that will enable accurate billing and help to reduce waste.

This is the 12th water and sanitation project jointly carried out by the IDB and the Spanish Water Fund. The Fund was launched in 2008 by initiative of Spanish president José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero. Its principal objectives are to help countries reach the Millennium Development Goals and to advance the human right to water.

Spain and the IDB have jointly financed water and sanitation services through projects in countries such as Haiti, El Salvador, Paraguay, Peru, Bolivia, Guatemala, Ecuador, Brazil and Uruguay. The partnership is also preparing projects in Honduras, Bolivia, Nicaragua and Costa Rica.

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