UNOPS, Italy Partner in €7.6mln Initiative to Support Ethiopian Communities

ADDIS ABABA – Italy and the UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS) on Wednesday signed a €7.6 million project agreement to support the government of Ethiopia strengthen the health systems as well as improve quality healthcare services and nutrition for school-going children in two regions.

The Multi-sectoral intervention project will be implemented in Chifra and Hamer districts of the Afar and SNNP regions.

Worknesh Mekonnen, Director of UNPOS Ethiopia Multi-Country Office, said “We are delighted to collaborate with the Italian government to enhance basic social services” in the two Woredas.

“Our goal is to support people in leading better lives and nations in achieving lasting peace and development,” the Director said.

The 3-year project aims to improve the uptake and quality of healthcare service delivery for more than 62,000 people. It is also expected to enhance the quality and uptake of education in primary schools through improved nutrition and hygiene services for around 2,000 children.

The project will also provide technical assistance to the Ministry of Health of Ethiopia to enhance its resilience.

Italian Ambassador to Ethiopia Agostino Palese said his country “is proud to contribute to this initiative, whose aim is to address some of the most vulnerable communities in the country, affected by the impact of the conflict and by climate shocks,”

The ambassador said the project will reach out to the communities “through the rehabilitation of health-centers and schools, infrastructures for access to water and sanitation, focusing on environmental-friendly and sustainable interventions.”

“Moreover, this initiative includes a specific component regarding technical assistance to the Ministry of Health in Ethiopia to strengthen resilience and capacity to face emergency situations,” he added.

The interventions will “significantly contribute” to enhancing access to education, health, water, and energy as well as will ensure all infrastructure constructed/ rehabilitated are gender sensitive and cater to the needs of People living with disabilities in the target population, per UNPOS.