Water for COVID-19


World leaders' Call to Action on COVID-19


  • UNESCO joins the “World Leaders’ Call for Action on COVID-19”: Heads of State, Government, and leaders from United Nations agencies, International Financial Institutions, civil society, private sector and research and learning are mobilizing around a call for the prioritization of water, sanitation and hygiene in the response to COVID-19.


Projects and Programmes


  • Solar water disinfection to improve access to safe drinking water at community levels in Africa

    • A series of webinars will be organized in May and June in collaboration in partnership with African Union for the national IHP committees and for some NGOs intervening directly at community level for the provision of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH).
    • o Development of training modules for Solar Disinfection for primary, secondary school students and adults at the community level though the use of the Avicenna Virtual Campus (eLearning).
    • o Raising awareness of SODIS through widespread sharing of existing resources that have been developed by Pr. Kevin McGuigan through his European funded project (WATERSPOUTT)
  • NEPAD African Network of Centres of Excellence on Water Sciences and Technology: Risk Mapping in collaboration with the JRC and the Centres of Excellence, impacts of COVID 19
  • Online film-making and social media messaging campaign (Facebook; Twitter) and competition on Water and Climate Change, enhancing capacity of Indonesian youth leaders on effective communication using visual media within the Covid-19 pandemic context.




  • Regional webinars providing the platform for experts to contextualize findings and recommendations of the WWDR2020 on Water and Climate change to the regional challenges including the critical importance to access clean water for ensuring the wellbeing in general and for hand hygiene to limit spread of COVID-19.
  • The Webinar for Africa organized in collaboration with the Nairobi office and AMCOW with the involvement of UN ECA, GWP and other partners
  • Webinar on WWDR 2020 for youth
  • Online discussion session “Transformation of UNESCO activities through: e-learning, open science and distance learning”, 14 May 2020, 14:30-17:30.
  • With WHO, UNESCO organized the webinar “Management Tools for the Water Sector of LAC to respond to COVID-19”, on 2 April with the participation of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights to Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation, and other partners. This webinar aimed to prepare the countries and their water authorities on water and sanitation issues related to this pandemic. Guideline on Water and COVID19 for the LAC region launched next week
  • Webinar: “Jóvenes en acción: agua y COVID-19 en América Latina y el Caribe” (25 May 2020)


Related Publications


“Water does not need to be a problem – it can be part of the solution [to the climate crisis],” said Audrey Azoulay, director-general of Unesco.

News and Stories

Continuation of UNESCO Water Science activities through e-learning, open science and distance learning

UNESCO’s Division of Water Sciences’ webinar on “Transformation of UNESCO activities through: e-learning, open science and distance learning” on 14 May 2020, discussed these means of knowledge dissemination for water security in times of COVID-19. The discussion served as a foundation for the ongoing development of a strategic position paper within UNESCO’s Sector for Natural Sciences, on e-learning, open science and distance learning.