Two Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) loans will help bring drinking water to 630,000 people, upgrade water and sanitation facilities in 20,000 schools, and reduce water-borne illnesses among 1.3 million students.
The first loan, for US$ 350 million, will finance the Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene in Basic Education Program, that combines improvements in the physical infrastructure of 20,000 schools with a comprehensive programme of hygiene education and infrastructure maintenance. The program gives priority to schools in municipalities with high epidemiological risk indicators and high enrollment levels. By 2014, the programme aims to achieve a a 30 percent reduction in the prevalence of diarrheal diseases in participating schools, and a drop in illness-related absenteeism is expected to drop from 17.9 per cent to 12 per cent. The number of schools that are not connected to a water system will be reduced from 7,966 to 1,980 properties.