UNECE launches a clearing house for information on water and health in the Republic of Moldova
The official opening of the Clearing House under the Protocol on Water and Health in the Republic of Moldova took place on 10 October 2013 in Chisinau on the occasion of the second Steering Committee meeting of a project led by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) to improve access to clean water and sanitation in the country.
The establishment of the Clearing House as a hub for information on water and health issues and a resource centre for governmental officials, non-governmental organizations and the general public was one of the main outputs of the joint project of UNECE and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) to assist the Republic of Moldova in the implementation of the national water and health targets adopted by Government in 2010. It will contribute to increasing awareness on the Protocol on Water and Health by conducting campaigns, trainings and briefings on themes relevant to the Protocol.
In her welcoming statement at the meeting, the Deputy Minister of Health, Svetlana Cotelea, reaffirmed the commitment of the Republic of Moldova to implement the targets set under the Protocol and to closely link that process with national planning in the area of water supply, sanitation, health and other relevant fields. The Ministry of Health actively supported the establishment of the Clearing House by providing premises and staff for its operation at the National Centre for Public Health in Chisinau.
The participants of the Steering Committee meeting reviewed and adopted the initial findings related to one of the key project outputs: the action plan on the implementation of targets and its resource mobilization strategy. They also discussed the contents of the national report submitted by the Republic of Moldova under the Protocol in May 2013, including the updated figures on access to improved drinking water and sanitation. Only 62 per cent of the population (94 per cent of the urban and 35 per cent of rural population) had improved drinking water access, and just 59 per cent (84 per cent of the urban and 40 per cent of the rural population) had access to improved sanitation, showing that the Republic of Moldova would need to make substantial effort to meet its international commitments, including the relevant Millennium Development Goals and targets under the Protocol, especially in rural areas.
Around 35 representatives of governmental entities, international organizations and other development partners and stakeholders took part in the meeting, which also finalized the workplan for the project until mid-2014.
For more information, please visit: http://www.unece.org/env/water.html
Mr. Alisher Mamadzhanov
UNECE-WHO/Europe Protocol on Water and Health Secretariat
Phone: +41 (0)22 917 2442
Note for Editors:
The UNECE-World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe Protocol on Water and Health to the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Water Convention) is the first international agreement adopted specifically to ensure, by linking water management and health issues, the adequate supply of safe drinking water and adequate sanitation. Twenty-six countries are Parties to the Protocol, which entered into force on 4 August 2005. The Republic of Moldova became a Party to the Protocol on 15 December 2005. In accordance with the provisions of the Protocol and with the assistance of UNECE and SDC, the Republic of Moldova adopted a list of 34 targets and the related target dates under the Protocol by the Joint Order of Ministers of Environment and Health from 20 October 2010.