The Government of Finland has contributed $2.4 million to support UNICEF’s program in Afghanistan to provide children and families with safe water, sanitation and hygiene, according to UNICEF’s statement.
“The flexible grant is part of Finland’s continued commitment to Afghanistan and follows a previous grant of similar size that provided gender-separated toilets, handwashing facilities and menstrual hygiene management that benefited almost 55,000 students in 102 schools,” the statement said on Thursday.
It said that improvements in water and sanitation facilities in schools have a positive impact on attendance, quality of learning and well-being of students, especially girls.
“The new funding will further reinforce this area of work, and support deprived communities to reach open defecation-free status, to access and use safely managed drinking water, and to disseminate information on the importance of hygiene practices,” the statement said.
“We are happy to continue supporting the UNICEF water, sanitation and hygiene programme that provides concrete results for women and children in line with National Priorities,” Ambassador of Finland in Afghanistan, Hannu Ripatti, said in the statement.
The UNICEF Representative in Afghanistan, Adele Khodr has acknowledging Finland’s partnership and generous contribution and highlighted the importance of clean water, sanitation and hygiene practices on health outcomes.
“Through encouraging handwashing with soap in schools, and the use of clean water and sanitary environments, we can help to prevent diarrhea and the subsequent onset or worsening of stunting and malnutrition. Washing hands with soap can reduce diarrhea by up to 42 per cent and is one of the most cost effective ways to prevent cases,” said Khodr.