World Bank Global Water Security and Sanitation Partnership

The World Bank’s Global Water Security and Sanitation Partnership: Joint efforts to ensure WASH in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic

Switzerland, as a major supporter of the Sustainable Development Goal 6 for water and sanitation, contributes to the World Bank's Global Water Security & Sanitation Partnership (GWSP). Since its launch in 2017, the water trust fund has attracted many donors, including the bilateral agencies from the USA, Sweden, Denmark, Austria, The Netherlands, the UK, Australia, Switzerland, plus the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The World Bank immediately reacted to the COVID-19 pandemic and programmes adaptations were made, since water and sanitation play a central role, especially for preventing the spread of the disease.

For washing hands, enough water of acceptable quality is a key requirement. However, it is often not available in peri-urban and rural areas of low and middle-income countries.

Water affects all four areas of the World Bank support package:

  1. Ensuring water, sanitation and hygiene in hospitals;
  2. Emergency supply for vulnerable population groups without access to water,
  3. Ensuring that water suppliers/utilities continue to function during the pandemic or prevent supply interruptions,
  4. Support to the local private sector / SMEs so that they can offer fast and flexible solutions for water supply, sanitation and hygiene easily.

Equally, the World Bank is committed to maintaining the supply chains with materials and products that are necessary for wastewater treatment, irrigation in food production. An example of how this may look in practice has been documented for the case of Bangladesh here.

Government of Bangladesh's Department of Public Health Engineering (DPHE) (© World Bank)

Duration: 2017 – 2020 / 2021

Budget: USD 2 million per year


Global Water Security & Sanitation Partnership

Contact: Isabella Pagotto of the Global Programme Water