UN-Water Compendium Offers Resources to Fight COVID-19
UN Photo/Evan Schneider
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Many of the resources address the importance of hand washing, specifically hand washing with soap.

The importance of water and sanitation for vulnerable groups, such as refugees, migrants, stateless, and internally displaced, are addressed.

Options to increase hand washing within slums are identified.

UN-Water has consolidated water and sanitation-related resources related to stopping the transmission of COVID-19. The resources provided by several UN-Water Members and Partners overview the key ways in which water and sanitation are key to stopping the virus.

Many of the resources address the importance of hand washing, specifically hand washing with soap. They note that only three out of five people worldwide have basic hand washing facilities.

Articles regarding the importance of water and sanitation for vulnerable groups, such as refugees, migrants, and stateless, are featured. In her article, Cecilia Jimenez-Damary, the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons, calls attention to the needs of internally displaced persons, noting that they are at “heightened risk of exposure to COVID-19 due to limited access to healthcare, water, sanitation, food and adequate housing, and often face discrimination.”

In another article, UN-Habitat addresses the need for water to wash hands in slums. To meet this challenge, the UN agency suggests introducing emergency safe drinking water and hand washing facilities in key locations in informal settlements and high-density public places. It also recommends engaging community leaders and groups through existing slum networks, youth centers, as well as using networks to train community volunteers and establish and manage hand washing facilities. 

Guidelines specific to water and sanitation measures, and infection prevention, for schools, households and public places, and health care facilities are also provided. Further, a separate article reveals that the novel coronavirus has been detected in wastewater in the Netherlands.

Another article, on the impacts on global security, reviews the ways in which the Water, Peace and Security (WPS) partnership’s WPS Global Tool can be used to cross-reference data related to conflict and protest events with conflict and risk drivers, such as water scarcity. 

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