Water Blog | “Latin America moving fast to ensure water services during COVID-19” (April 2020)
To help fight the pandemic, governments in the region are setting up emergency measures to provide safe water to their citizens. Government measures are found to focus on three main areas: (1) Ensuring access, continuity, and quality to facilitate handwashing for all; (2) Direct support to cover service fees to minimize the economic impact of COVID-19 on households; and (3) Support to water utilities including efforts to protect utility employers and the suspension of taxes on potabilization products to allow for necessary water treatment operations.
Water Blog | “Responses in LAC’s Water and Sanitation Sector amidst the COVID crisis: Opportunities for Greater Connectivity” (October 2020)
The different sector response measures in the region signal that the unforeseen health crisis has presented utilities and the sector with opportunities towards enhanced connectivity: from reaching the unserved populations with potable water, to increased technological dependence, to an enhanced relationship between the sector and other stakeholders and citizens. These elements are key to turnaround WSS utilities, providing opportunities to become more innovative, foster multi-sector partnerships for strategic investment and sector planning, accelerate utility’s digitalization, and more proactive engagement with its stakeholders. Also, through social media, sector agencies are conveying public health recommendations in a rapid and informative manner, strengthening public opinion on the role of water for livelihoods and post-Covid recovery. The nurturing relationship and continued connectivity (physical and digital) between the WSS sector and its citizens is perhaps holding the greatest prospect of all, as one beneficial outcome from this pandemic.
Policy Note | Brazil - World Bank, UNICEF and SIWI: “The key role of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Promotion in the response to Covid-19 in Brazil” (September 2020)
In order to support well designed water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) responses contributing to COVID-19 containment, this note provides an overview of measures taken at the federal and state levels in Brazil. It identifies both the strengths and the response gaps. Frequent and proper handwashing with soap is one of the key measures for COVID-19 infection prevention and control. This implies that continued access to and quality of WASH services must be ensured at household level, health care facilities, schools, and in other public spaces. This requires coordinated actions by key stakeholders, namely: policy makers, regulators, utilities, private sector, United Nations (UN) agencies, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), and communities. Access the virtual seminar recording here.
Other relevant links:
This tracking exercise complements other ongoing monitoring efforts in the sector: