UNECE helps Armenia to set targets on water and health
The tenth meeting of the Steering Committee of the Armenian National Policy Dialogue on water resources was held in Yerevan on Thursday, 26 September 2013. At the meeting, an expert group presented a draft baseline analysis of the Armenia’s health and environmental situation and legal framework on water, a first step towards setting national targets under the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)-World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe (WHO/Europe) Protocol on Water and Health.
Some 30 representatives of different stakeholders and donors attended the meeting, which was chaired by the Head of the Water Resources Management Agency of Armenia, Mr. Volodya Narimanyan.
UNECE helped to set up a national expert group which presented the draft baseline analysis at the meeting. The baseline analysis comprises an in-depth study of the environmental and health situation in the country, as well as the existing national and international legal frameworks. The baseline analysis will be followed by identification and prioritization of problems in the field of water and health that would require particular attention. It is expected that the targets will be finalized and adopted by mid 2014.
At the end of 2012, Armenia started the process of setting national targets with regard to water management, drinking water supply and wastewater treatment with a view of improving human health and reducing the incidence of water-related diseases.
According to the national report of Armenia submitted under the Protocol on Water and Health in 2013, between 2008 and 2012 the country had achieved an important increase in access to drinking water in rural areas — from 92 to 94 per cent. However, access to sanitation for rural dwellers has not seen any substantial improvement in recent years. Moreover, issues like urban wastewater treatment and water losses in water supply systems were also among urgent priorities.
Note for Editors:
National Policy Dialogues (NPDs) on Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) and Water Supply and Sanitation are the main operational instrument of the European Union Water Initiative (EUWI) Component for Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia. UNECE is the strategic partner for support to the policy dialogue processes on IWRM.
NPDs are under way in the following countries of the region: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Republic of Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Ukraine. More information is available at: www.unece.org/env/water/npd.
Mr. Peep Mardiste
EU Water Initiative (EUWI) National Policy Dialogues