Call to Action for SURVIVAL WASH AND RESILIENT WASH for the UN 2023 Water Conference

We Acknowledge:

The convergence of multiple and protracted crises – the Covid pandemic, climate change, violent conflicts, geopolitical instability – has aggravated issues of fragility across countries and regions. When fragility increases, so do humanitarian needs. OECD estimates that fragile contexts account for 23% of the world population. Currently, Humanitarian WASH actors do not have the capacity to respond to the ever growing-needs and demands. There is a severe gap in capacity and resources. Indeed, humanitarian funds are not meeting the requirements, reaching barely 58%1 of the amount requested during Humanitarian Response Plans while total people in need is increasing every year, from 80 million in 2013 to 339 million in 20232. Looking at emergency WASH funds only, the funds delivered covered only 38%3 of the requirements made with the lowest coverage ever in 2021 and 2020 respectively with 22% and 21% of the required funding.


We Join Our Forces:

To address these gaps, 34 Humanitarian WASH actors have joined forces in the WASH Road Map, to tackle priority action lines around (i) Information & Knowledge Management, (ii) Capacity Development & Professionalization, (iii) Coordination & Partnerships, and (iv) Resource Mobilization & Advocacy.


We Call to Action:

Signatory actors of the Humanitarian WASH Road Map call on governments to champion this Road Map and commit to take concrete actions to strengthen the WASH sector in Fragile, Conflicts and Violence (FCV) settings. Road Map affiliates are concerned by the lack of attention given to specific WASH challenges in FCV settings during past water high-level events and proceedings (e.g. 2022 Dakar declaration and 2021 High Level Political Forum).

Through this call to action, signatory members of the WASH Road Map call upon governments to raise the profile of WASH in FCV settings and table the following commitments in March 2023. Therefore we:

  • Call upon governments to primarily focus their efforts towards those living in FCV settings. They are the most impacted by the multiple burdens of conflict, climate change, poverty, and hunger. A special focus should be given to countries with no evolution on the achievement of SDG6, and populations without even access to basic WASH services. It is only by including the most vulnerable that we can hope to reach the SDGs.4
    • Call upon governments to further support humanitarian WASH response and coordination to deliver predictable, effective (timely) and sufficient survival WASH responses and to ultimately safeguard the lives and health of those living in FCV contexts.5
    • Call upon governments to build sustainable and resilient WASH services that can withstand crises. Building back better and adapting existing systems, from infrastructures to communities, should be systematic especially in countries most exposed to multiple risks (climate crises, conflicts, natural disasters). In these contexts, collaboration between development and humanitarian actors at all levels from local to global will ensure continuity of services and better value for Together, let’s build services that last. 6
    • Call upon all governments to actively promote the effective implementation of International Humanitarian Law obligations relevant to the protection of WASH personnel and UN Security Council Resolution 2573 (2021), including by promoting the identification and exchange of good practices in the protection of WASH infrastructure during armed conflict, supporting data collection on attacks on or impacting WASH infrastructures and their reverberating effects, and facilitating access to equipment, spare parts and consumables required to restore and maintain WASH 7
    • Call upon governments to support the request to the UN General Secretary to nominate as soon as possible a UN Special Envoy for Water to establish a recurrent intergovernmental, UN-hosted, mechanism to discuss global water issues and to ensure the achievement of SDG 6 and all water- related SDGs8