Armenia prepares to ratify the UNECE Protocol on Water and Health: draft national water and health targets finalized
On 6 May 2014 in Yerevan, the Steering Committee of the National Policy Dialogue (NPD) on water resources management approved the draft national water and health targets, prepared by the national expert group with support from the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).
The targets were developed under the UNECE-World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe (WHO/Europe) Protocol on Water and Health within a project financed by Finland. Members of the NPD Steering Committee provided their comments and subsequently adopted the draft targets. They recommended the Ministry of Nature Protection to officially circulate them for comments by relevant governmental authorities. The final draft will then be forwarded to the Government for formal adoption. In addition, the Committee also discussed the process of preparation of the road map for the ratification of the Protocol by Armenia, also supported by UNECE.
A total of 25 national targets were prepared in 9 out of 20 target areas specified in the Protocol, along with relevant target dates, indicators and supporting measures. The selected target areas include such high priority issues for Armenia as access to drinking water and sanitation, the quality of drinking water supplied, the quality of treated wastewater discharged into water bodies and the reduction of water-related diseases and their outbreaks.
Special consideration in drafting of targets was given to such key issues as access to water and sanitation in rural areas and schools. According to the latest data, about 12% of schools lack sanitation facilities and 10% lack drinking water supply. While coverage by improved sanitation for urban dwellers is 96%, in rural areas only 81% are covered by such services.
Armenia signed the UNECE-WHO/Europe Protocol on Water and Health in 1999 and is currently in the process of its ratification.
Note to editors
NPDs on Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) and Water Supply and Sanitation are the main operational instrument of the European Union Water Initiative 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.
For more information, please visit: www.unece.org/env/water/npd