The EU and UNICEF have signed a five-year agreement to contribute €31 million (about N6.5 billion) for rural water and sanitation projects in Nigeria.
This is contained in a statement issued by the EU and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Friday.
The statement explained that the projects were aimed at supporting access to safe drinking water and proper sanitation.
``The projects would cover 1,000 rural communities in 39 local government areas in Anambra, Cross River, Jigawa, Kano, Osun and Yobe states.
``The rural water and sanitation projects would contribute to poverty reduction and to Nigeria achieving the water and health-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
``It is expected that over two million rural women and children in the six states would benefit directly from this projects,'' the statement added.
It stressed that the projects were intended to support the state governments to develop and implement needed reforms in the rural water and sanitation sector.
``Funds would also be provided for the states to construct water supply and sanitation facilities in rural communities and schools.''
Under the projects, EU's support will cover 70 per cent of the total investment cost for construction and rehabilitation of water supply facilities.
The states and local governments, and the benefiting communities, would provide 30 per cent of the costs in line with the cost-sharing arrangement of the national policy on water supply and sanitation.
NAN reports that the projects are parts of a larger EU-funded water and sanitation programme put at N16 billion. (NAN)