Improving water, sanitation, hygiene and health through implementation of the programme of work of the Protocol on Water and Health
01 Oct 2021
31 Aug 2024
Part of Programme of Work
Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan
Objective and brief summary of the project:
The objective is to strengthen the capacity of Central Asia, Eastern Europe and the Caucasus to set and/or implement water, sanitation, hygiene and health targets under the UNECE-WHO/Europe Protocol on Water and Health, with a view to strengthening resilience against COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, and to promote cooperation, exchange of experience and scale-up of successful sanitation approaches at the sub-regional level. Safeguarding human health through improving access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation and reducing water-related diseases has been a major issue for the above-mentioned countries, particularly in rural areas and among the vulnerable and marginalized population groups. Furthermore, the outbreak of the COVID-19 highlighted that investing into water, sanitation and hygiene is key for the protection of human health from COVID-19 and other infectious diseases. However, improving the situation with drinking water supply and sanitation is not solely a matter of investment into infrastructure – it requires appropriate policy frameworks and a solid planning stage that would involve institutional, administrative and managerial aspects as well as close link with capacity building. Together with WHO/Europe as implementing partner, UNECE will support the policy development in beneficiary states, including by capitalizing on the work previously undertaken in Central Asia in the Protocol framework, particularly in relation to setting targets and elaborating action plans for implementation. An important focus will be on promoting uptake of the principles of the WHO Guidelines on Sanitation and Health. The project aims at improving sanitation policies and regulations in line with the latest available evidence and associated good practices and enhancing capacity of sanitation service providers for safely managing sanitation in alignment with SDG target 6.2.