ESCWA Publication: E/ESCWA/2020/Policy Brief.5

Country: Arab region

Publication Type: Policy briefs

Cluster: Climate Change and Natural Resource Sustainability

Focus Area: Natural resource sustainability

Initiatives: Improved Water Security in Arab States

SDGs: Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation

Keywords: Covid-19, Water policy, Water resources

The impact of COVID-19 on the water-scarce Arab region

April 2020

COVID-19 has sounded a wake-up call on the importance of ensuring access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene for all to protect health and welfare. Handwashing with soap and water is now globally understood as the best prevention against COVID-19 transmission.

What seems like a simple recommendation, grounded in basic hygiene principles, becomes much more complicated in the water-scarce Arab region where over 362 million people live with less than 1,000 cubic metres of fresh water per person per year, and 18 of the 22 Arab countries are considered water scarce.

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