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COVID-19 Activities

This page brings together water-and sanitation-related information from UN-Water Members and Partners relevant to the COVID-19 global emergency. UN-Water is working to provide the most up-to-date information, resources, and guidance as they become available.

UN-Water Joint Statement: 31st Special Session of the General Assembly in response to the COVID-19 pandemic

UN-Water Members

  • POLICY BRIEF: Integrated agriculture water management and health
  • POLICY BRIEF: Food safety in the time of COVID-19
  • ONLINE SEMINAR: Lessons from COVID-19 for one water one health
  • BRIEF: Technical brief on water, sanitation, hygiene and wastewater management to prevent infections and reduce the spread of antimicrobial resistance
    • Access the technical brief
  • BRIEF: The dual threat of extreme weather and the COVID-19 crisis: Anticipating the impacts on food availability
  • ARTICLE: Thinking the unthinkable: harnessing the pandemic to Improve SDG 6 capacity development
  • DISCUSSION PAPER: SMART IRRIGATION – SMART WASH Solutions in response to the pandemic crisis in Africa
  • The FAO Land & Water response to COVID-19
  • ARTICLE: COVID-19: Protecting workers in the workplace
  • PUBLICATION: Safety and health at work 2020 – stop the pandemic: safety and health at work can save lives
  • Technical note on water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) interventions in response to COVID-19
  • BLOG: Hand washing at work – the key to staying safe
  • STORY: Clean water for life and livelihoods amid pandemic
  • POLICY BRIEF: Hand hygiene at the workplace: an essential occupational safety and health prevention and control measure against COVID-19
  • STORY: Safe water, decent work in BARMM amid COVID-19
  • VIDEO: Water and hygiene services help combat COVID-19 pandemic
  • VIDEO: Addressing COVID-19 in Ethiopia through clean water and good hygiene
  • NEWSLETTER: Special edition newsletter on fighting COVID-19 with water and sanitation
  • STORY: Supplying clean water to Yemen’s largest displacement camp
  • POLICY BRIEF: UN Network on Migration: Enhancing access to services for migrants in the context of COVID-19 preparedness, prevention, and response and beyond
  • STRATEGY: Supporting the Global Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic: Land-based Solutions for Healthy People and a Healthy Planet
  • VIDEO: Focusing on climate and health
  • 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
  • ARTICLE: For planet, for people: UNDP-supported ecosystem-based adaptation project in Lao PDR moves forward with the backing of the Global Environment Facility
  • ARTICLE: Resilience on the frontlines
  • ARTICLE: Continuing vital health services in Guinea-Bissau during COVID-19
  • RESOURCES: COVID-19: the role of the Water Convention and the Protocol on Water and Health
  • POLICY BRIEF: The Impact of COVID-19 on the Arab Region An Opportunity to Build Back Better
  • STORY: Albania: how a lagoon became a frontline defence against climate change
  • STORY: UNEP helps countries monitor sustainable development progress on water, despite COVID-19 challenges
  • VIRTUAL EVENT: GENeva Environment Dialogues- special COVID-19 sessions
  • STORY: How monitoring sewage could prevent a return of the coronavirus
  • FACTSHEET: COVID-19, wastewater, and sanitation

UN-Water Partners with Special Status

  • WEBINAR: COVID-19 and WASH with UNICEF, WHO, and Governments
  • WEBINAR: Making WASH a political and financial priority in times of 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)


  • STATEMENT: Water, sanitation and hygiene: world leaders call for action on COVID-19
  • VIDEO: COVID19 and adequate sanitation (available in French, English and Spanish)
  • Statement by the Special Rapporteur on human rights to water and sanitation 

UN-Water Partners

  • Framework for WASH and climate reslience
  • Scaling up commitment to meet planetary crises
  • Call from Global Water Partnership West Africa (GWP-WA) for the fight against the pandemic
  • WEBSITE: Responding to the COVID-19 crisis
  • Call for higher ambition of adaption and inclusion of climate resilient water security in COVID-19 economic recovery plans
  • OPINION: The coronavirus pandemic will impact global security
  • 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
  • ARTICLE: When climate and Covid-19 collide: Ten steps to prepare South Asia
  • WEBPAGE: COVID-19 dedicated webpage
  • 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: How can the world avoid the spread of future pandemics?
  • BLOG POST: Want to help fight COVID-19? List your organization’s work on the water action hub.
  • FACT SHEET: Water and the pandemic: reopening buildings after shutdowns: reducing water-related health risks
  • BLOG POST: How the Coronavirus pandemic is affecting water demand
  • ISSUE BRIEF: Water and the COVID-19 pandemic: impacts on municipal water demand
  • ISSUE BRIEF: Water and the COVID-19 pandemic: ensuring access to water as shutoff moratoriums lift
  • ISSUE BRIEF: Water and the COVID-19 pandemic: equity dimensions of utility disconnections in the U.S.
  • ISSUE BRIEF: Water and the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Business Framework for Water & COVID-19: Practical Actions to Contain the Pandemic
  • 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
  • NEWS: Make clean water for all a top global priority
  • POLICY BRIEF: The key role of water, sanitation and hygiene promotion in the response to COVID-19 in Brazil
  • 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
  • ARTICLE: Local action by women
  • Katosi / KWDT intervention on COVID
    • Access the document
  • WEB PAGE: Women, water & virus
    • Access the page
  • ARTICLE: Combating the coronavirus without clean water
  • ARTICLE: Tackling inequality in cities is essential for fighting COVID-19
  • ARTICLE: South Asia confronts a double disaster: cyclone and COVID-19
  • NEWS ARTICLE: World Water Council provides Marseille soap to Senegalese state and City of Dakar

Coronavirus Disease

Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases. According to WHO, while persistence in drinking-water is possible, there is no current evidence that coronaviruses are present in surface or groundwater sources or transmitted through contaminated drinking-water.

Cleaning hands can reduce the transmission of COVID-19 and many other infectious diseases but today billions of people lack safely managed water and sanitation services and handwashing facilities.


Handwashing and Hand Hygiene