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UN-Water Annual Report 2020


In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic stopped the world in its tracks. Water and sanitation is a first line of defence against COVID-19, however, billions of people around the world still lack access to basic water and sanitation facilities. The effects of the pandemic devastated the most vulnerable people in the world. COVID- 19 revealed the unfortunate reality that our ability to protect ourselves is far from equal.

As the pandemic was unfolding in March 2020, UN-Water established a special section on its website to collect water and sanitation- related information from UN-Water Members and Partners considering the COVID-19 global emergency. UN-Water worked to ensure the most up-to-date information, resources and guidance were accessible to the general public. Members and Partners unified their voices and fostered digital conversations around the strong link between COVID-19 and hygiene.

In response to the Secretary-General’s call for a Decade of Action to deliver the SDGs by 2030, the SDG 6 Global Acceleration Framework was developed by UN-Water Members and Partners to deliver fast results at an increased scale. The Framework will contribute to progress across the 2030 Agenda and other relevant global targets, in particular: poverty reduction, food security, health, gender equality, peace, sustainability and climate resilience of communities, ecosystems, and production systems. By committing to the Framework, the UN system, governments, civil society and the private sector will work together in a coordinated way to advance the water agenda. Five accelerators outlined in the Framework – financing, data and information, capacity development, innovation, and governance – will dramatically improve the international community’s support to country progress.

As a fundamental component of the SDG 6 Global Acceleration Framework, UN-Water continued its support to Resident Coordinators (RCs) and the United Nations Country Teams (UNCTs) in collaboration with the United Nations Development Coordination Office (DCO) in 2020. UN-Water, through its Task Force on Country Level Engagement, offered its expertise and support to RCs and UNCTs and has been working closely with eight countries.

To close the data gap and to advance trend analysis of existing data, the UN-Water Integrated Monitoring Initiative for SDG 6 (IMI- SDG6) launched its second round of global data compilation on seven SDG 6 indicators in March 2020. Despite being launched at the start of the pandemic, the 2020 Data Drive process proved to be robust and achieved very satisfactory results. The custodian agencies also offered various types of capacity-building support to country focal points as part of the 2020 Data Drive.

UN-Water Publications

UN-Water’s publications can be divided into two main groups: the publications that represent all Members and Partners of UN-Water – the collective products – and the publications that are under the UN-Water umbrella but produced by groups or individual UN-Water Members and/or Partners – the related products.