The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors has approved financing for the Moldova Water Security and Sanitation Project in the amount of EUR 44.1 million, which will support the Government of Moldova in implementing a comprehensive, long-term approach to addressing persisting challenges in the country’s water sector.
Moldova has been grappling with challenges in the water sector, and the drought in 2020, coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic-induced crisis, emphasized the need to invest in a more inclusive and resilient water sector. The Moldova Water Security and Sanitation Project, which is co-financed by the Austrian Development Agency, includes critical investments in water and sanitation in towns and rural areas in order to increase access to safely managed services.
Additionally, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) interventions in schools and healthcare facilities will increase access to resilient WASH services. The project also includes an on-site sanitation pilot to support households gain access to improved sanitation using low-cost technologies. The pilot will be used to inform and accelerate scale-up of these approaches under a national Water Supply and Sanitation program.
“Moldova needs to invest in an inclusive and resilient water sector,” said Inguna Dobraja, World Bank Country Manager for Moldova. “The Water Security and Sanitation Project is critical in helping Moldova increase its water supply, water quality and strengthen management capacity of the water utilities. This means a significant number of people in underserved areas will benefit from gaining access to properly managed drinking water and sanitation services.”
The project also has a learning and capacity-building component, which supports the Government of Moldova’s reform agenda in the sector, ensuring that accelerated investments turn into better water and sanitation services, that the performance of water utilities is improved, and that resilience is built into the system.
Around 66,500 people are expected to directly benefit from the project by gaining access to safely managed drinking water and sanitation services, many of whom will gain access to a centralized network for the first time. In addition, students, and staff of around 100 schools (around 25,000 people) as well as staff and patients of 25 rural healthcare facilities will benefit from improved WASH facilities.
Since Moldova joined the World Bank in 1992, over $1.3 billion has been allocated to more than 60 operations in the country. Currently, the World Bank portfolio includes 11 active projects with a total commitment of $591.2 million. Areas of support include regulatory reform and business development, modernization of government services, tax administration, land registration, education, roads, health and social sectors, including COVID-19 emergency response, agriculture, and energy.