Published on: 19/08/2020
What impact did we have in our focus countries in 2019? Sharing highlights from IRC's Annual Report.
In Bangladesh, Benin, Mali and Niger we have been working on projects for years. We’ve explored the possibility of establishing a more permanent presence in these countries. This is not done lightly. Deciding that a country is a focus country means we make a long-term commitment.
In 2019 we selected Mali and Niger and we have committed ourselves for the next five years, with the aim of close collaboration until 2030 if the security situation allows. We are exploring the possibility of doing the same in Benin and Bangladesh.
Our New Focus Countries Programme supports this process and also manages our more established but smaller country programmes in Honduras and India.
The highlights of our work in Mali and Niger include working with World Vision in a total of five districts in the two countries. Both countries are fragile, so we are looking at new ways to strengthen WASH systems. As an entry point for achieving SDG 6, our focus is on improving services in schools and health care facilities in the countries.
We have supported districts to develop baseline assessments and strategic plans to realise the vision. Findings in Niger show that most health care facilities have no soap available at their handwashing facilities. Often, there are no handwashing facilities at all. In Torodi district, less than half of the health centres had toilets on the premises or nearby.
We are also working on strengthening the organisational, technical and administrative capacity of municipalities to be able to effectively and sustainably address these challenges.