ADB, UNICEF Sign Cooperation Agreement to Improve Water, Sanitation, Hygiene in Schools in Western Region

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and United Nations Children Funds (UNICEF)–Mongolia signed a cooperation agreement to improve water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) in schools and dormitories located in rural remote areas of the western region.

This operational cooperation seeks to expand and sustain WASH in schools and dormitories to be supported under the ADB-administered Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction (JFPR) grant for Improving School Dormitory Environment for Primary Students in Western Region Project and a WASH program by UNICEF–Mongolia.

“ADB and UNICEF–Mongolia have, in recent years, initiated a partnership for improving WASH in schools and dormitories,” said Yolanda Fernandez Lommen, ADB’s Country Director in Mongolia. “Poor condition in schools and dormitories has been one of the critical barriers to ensuring equal access to quality education in rural remote areas. By working together, we can use our comparative strengths and develop innovative solutions in remote rural areas where access to water supply, sewerage, and heating remains a challenge.”

“Improving sanitation and hygiene practices for children, their parents and teachers is a priority area for UNICEF’s work in Mongolia,” said Roberto Benes, UNICEF–Mongolia Representative. ”By partnering with ADB we will maximize potential to ensure that children in remote areas have equitable, sustainable access to safe water and basic sanitation services in their schools and dormitories, thus, improving their health and learning performance too.”

As part of the cooperation, ADB and UNICEF–Mongolia will support the repair, installation, operations and maintenance of WASH facilities that meet the minimum requirements set by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Sports and the Ministry of Health in 2015. ADB and UNICEF–Mongolia will also develop and disseminate knowledge and build local capacity for better designing, planning and maintaining WASH facilities in schools and dormitories and for promoting hygiene, safe drinking water, and sanitation.

ADB approvals in Mongolia amounted to $297.5 million in 2015, including 4 sovereign loans for $275 million, 2 project grants for $6 million, and 17 technical assistance grants for $16.5 million.

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, ADB in December 2016 will mark 50 years of development partnership in the region. It is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2015, ADB assistance totaled $27.2 billion, including cofinancing of $10.7 billion.

UNICEF promotes the rights and well-being of every child and works in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.