On World Water Day, 22 March, the EU4Environment programme has sounded the alarm on the damage to water supply and sanitation caused by the war in Ukraine, as well as the environmental degradation that could take decades to recover.
On top of the dreadful human suffering caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the war has destroyed infrastructure worth some €90 billion, while the European Environment Agency has warned of toxic chemicals in the water, soil and the air that might persist for decades to come.
The Human Right to Water and Sanitation was recognised by the United Nations in July 2010, but in areas where the fighting is most intense, access to water supply and sanitation is among the key concerns with warnings of a rise in waterborne diseases such as cholera, and children especially at risk.
“Today, Ukraine needs urgent access to safe drinking water for regions isolated by the war. And it will need support tomorrow to restore and rebuild the country, including its water and environmental governance, management and monitoring,” EU4Environment warns in an article to mark World Water Day (click here to read the full article).
Water and the environment are key to human health, and in this area too, the EU stands with Ukraine to address their most pressing needs and to support the long-term recovery and further development of the country.
World Water Day, held on 22 March every year since 1993, celebrates water and raises awareness of the 2 billion people living without access to safe water. Water is a key asset in the six Eastern Partner (EaP) countries of the European Union: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine, which are experiencing increasing pressures, not least because of climate change.
To support the EaP countries to address their water challenges, the European Union in January launched a new programme EU4Environment – Water and Data in Eastern Partner Countries, which contributes to sustainable water resources management and policy development, sound environmental statistics and open data.
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