Coronavirus global health emergency

This page brings together water and sanitation-related information from UN-Water Members and Partners in the light of the coronavirus global emergency. UN-Water is working to ensure the most up-to-date information, resources and guidance as they become available.

UN-Water Members

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)

International Labour Organization (ILO)

  • PUBLICATION: Safety and Health at Work 2020 – Stop the pandemic: Safety and health at work can save lives

International Organization for Migration (IOM)

  • VIDEO: Addressing COVID-19 in Ethiopia Through Clean Water and Good Hygiene
  • NEWSLETTER: Special edition newsletter on fighting COVID-19 with water and sanitation

United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

  • ARTICLE: Everything you need to know about washing your hands to protect against COVID-19
  • PRESS RELEASE: Handwashing with soap, critical in the fight against coronavirus, is ‘out of reach’ for billions
  • TECHNICAL NOTE: WASH Programme contribution to coronavirus disease (COVID-19) prevention and response
  • GUIDANCE NOTE: Understanding hygiene promotion in the context of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak
  • TECHNICAL NOTE: Monitoring and mitigating the secondary impacts of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic on WASH services availability and access
  • ARTICLE: Protecting the most vulnerable children from the impact of coronavirus: An agenda for action
  • ARTICLE: Rohingya children fight back against COVID-19, one pair of hands at a time
  • PRESS RELEASE: Over 5 million children face threat of cholera and acute water diarrhea in the midst of COVID-19 as Yemen gets heavy rains
  • BRIEF: Mitigating the impacts of COVID-19 on menstrual health and hygiene
  • WEBINAR: Period Pivots: Exploring Changing Business Models within Menstrual Health & Hygiene (MHH), 18 May
  • PRESS RELEASE: UN Humanitarian Flight Arrives in Venezuela with Nutrition, Water, Hygiene and Sanitation Supplies

United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA)

  • WEBINAR: COVID-19: Strengthening Science and Technology and Addressing Inequalities – 6 May, 10AM – 12PM (EDT)

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

  • ARTICLE: Dovetailing disasters: how COVID-19 is compounding risk for Cambodian communities
  • ARTICLE: How to soften the impact of coronavirus during conflict
  • BLOG: For a lack of soap and clean water, disease flourishes

United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)

  • RESOURCES: COVID-19: the role of the Water Convention and the Protocol on Water and Health

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

  • STORY: Albania: How a lagoon became a frontline defence against climate change

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

  • ARTICLE: Green economies, a bulwark against COVID 19 for Lake Chad communities

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

  • Technical WASH Guidance for COVID-19 Preparedness and Response in refugee settings
  • WASH and Energy Checklist for Health Facilities in refugee camps/settlements
  • Key UNHCR Activities for COVID-19 Preparedness and Response
  • PRESS RELEASE: As COVID-19 pandemic continues, forcibly displaced children need more support than ever
  • ARTICLE: COVID-19: UNHCR warns of severe implications for annual monsoon response in Bangladesh

United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner (OHCHR)

  • NEWS RELEASE: COVID-19: Do not forget internally displaced persons, UN expert urges Governments worldwide
  • NEWS: COVID-19 will not be stopped without providing safe water to people living in vulnerability – UN experts
  • ARTICLE: Kenya’s informal settlements need safe water to survive COVID-19

United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat)

  • STORY: What water and sanitation operators can do in the fight against COVID-19
  • STORY: Water for handwashing in slums is critical to prevent COVID-19 spreading
  • VIDEO: from one of Nairobi’s Informal Settlements on handwashing support
  • STORY: Youth in Nairobi slum use murals to educate the community about COVID-19
  • TECHNICAL NOTE: Interim technical note on water, sanitation and hygiene for COVID-19 response in slums and informal urban settlements

United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR)

United Nations University (UNU)

World Bank Group

  • BLOG POST: Handwashing with soap – a life-saving act
  • BLOG POST: Latin America moving fast to ensure water services during COVID-19
  • DOCUMENT: Water, sanitation, and hygiene. The first line of defense in the battle against COVID-19
  • BLOG POST: On inflation and water tariffs: What are the trends?

World Health Organization (WHO)

  • TECHNICAL BRIEF (WHO/UNICEF): Water, sanitation, hygiene and waste management for COVID-19
  • DOCUMENT: Strengthening Preparedness for COVID-19 in Cities and Urban Settings
  • OPEN WHO: free, open-access learning platform for health emergencies, with 10 online courses related to COVID-19
  • WORLD HEALTH ASSEMBLY MEETING: Meeting the challenge of COVID-19: Achieving sustainable WASH-safe health care facilities in the 2020s, 21 May

World Meteorological Organization (WMO)

  • ARTICLE: Economic slowdown as a result of COVID is no substitute for Climate Action
  • ARTICLE: Tropical Cyclone Harold challenges disaster and public health management

UN-Water Partners with Special Status

Sanitation and Water for All (SWA)

  • WEBINAR: COVID-19 and WASH with UNICEF, WHO, and Governments
  • WEBINAR: Making WASH a political and financial priority in times of COVID-19
  • WEBINAR: Eliminating Inequalities in the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Response to COVID-19
  • Information on SWA webinar series on COVID-19 and WASH
  • DOCUMENTS: Key documents and resources on COVID-19 and WASH (resources available in English, French and Spanish)
  • Live: Country Experiences on COVID-19 and WASH
  • CALL TO ACTION: World leaders’ Call to Action on COVID-19
  • STATEMENT: Water, sanitation and hygiene: world leaders call for action on COVID-19

UN Global Compact | CEO Water Mandate

United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights to Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation

  • VIDEO: COVID-19 and the human rights to water and sanitation (available in French, English and Spanish)
  • VIDEO: COVID19 and adequate sanitation (available in French, English and Spanish)
  • Statement by the Special Rapporteur on human rights to water and sanitation 

Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC)

  • COVID-19: Sanitation and hygiene for today and tomorrow
  • OPINION: COVID-19 a collective failure, an unprecedented opportunity
  • ARTICLE: WSSCC’s response to the United Nations Secretary-General’s call to action on COVID-19
  • VIDEO: WSSCC Executive Chair’s video message on the COVID-19 pandemic
  • OPINION: Achieving public health equity — start with sanitation and hygiene for all

UN-Water Partners

Global Water Partnership (GWP)

International Association for Hydro-Environment Engineering and Research (IAHR)

IHE Delft

  • OPINION: The coronavirus pandemic will impact global security


  • ARTICLE: Strengthening water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) systems
  • ARTICLE: How to avoid a 20-year setback in the water and sanitation sector
  • ARTICLE: How civil society is adapting WASH advocacy to COVID-19

International Water Association (IWA)

  • ARTICLE: COVID-19 and ‘Chasing for Water’ – Water Access in Poor Urban Spaces
  • ONLINE DIALOGUE: COVID-19: A Water Professional’s Perspective

International Water Management Institute (IWMI)

  • ARTICLE: COVID-19 is a deadly reminder that inclusive water supply and sanitation matters for all of us
  • INTERVIEW: Fears over handwashing in Africa to stem coronavirus seen as trigger for change
  • OPINION: Coronavirus – wake-up call to ensure water and sanitation for all
  • ARTICLE: Why nations must prepare for natural disasters amid the current Covid-19 pandemic

Pacific Institute

  • OP-ED: Hand-Washing Is Critical in the Fight Against Coronavirus, but What If You Don’t Have Safe Water?
  • Water and COVID-19: Risks and Opportunities
  • BLOG POST: When California Utilities Shut Off Water for the Poor, We Are All at Risk
  • BLOG POST: Want to help fight COVID-19? List your organization’s work on the water action hub.

Stockholm international Water Institute (SIWI)

  • NEWS: You can’t wash your hands without water – how governments are responding to COVID-19
  • BLOG POST: Don’t forget the security aspect of the COVID-19 crisis


  • ARTICLE: Frequent handwashing with soap is one of the most effective ways to stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).
  • BLOG: How can we ensure everyone can wash their hands with soap and water, to protect lives from COVID-19?
  • BLOG: Putting equality, inclusion and rights at the centre of a COVID-19 water, sanitation and hygiene response
  • ARTICLE: Good hygiene saves lives – that’s why we’ve spent 37 years fighting for everyone to be able to practise it. Will you help us respond to the COVID-19 pandemic?
  • VIDEO: Why is handwashing so important to stop coronavirus?
  • VIDEO: How to wash your hands | The WaterAid Guide to Handwashing

Women for Water Partnership (WfWP)

World Resources Institute

  • ARTICLE: Tackling Inequality in Cities is Essential for Fighting COVID-19

World Water Council

  • NEWS ARTICLE: World Water Council provides Marseille soap to Senegalese State and City of Dakar

The COVID-19 webpage on the UN-Water website features contents provided by the Members and Partners of UN-Water, including contents belonging to or originating from third parties and links to other websites. These contents and external links are uploaded in good faith and are not investigated, monitored, or verified by UN-Water. UN-Water does not warrant, endorse, guarantee, or assume responsibility for their accuracy, adequacy, validity, reliability, availability or completeness.

Any rights on the contents featured on this webpage are the property of their respective holders. UN-Water cannot grant any rights to use any otherwise protected content available on this webpage, and requests for permission to use such contents must be addressed to the respective rights holders.

The COVID-19 webpage on the UN-Water website should not be used to replace seeking professional help or advice, particularly of a medical kind, when worried about COVID-19.