A regional workshop on ensuring equitable access to water and sanitation was held from 13 to 14 June 2022 in Geneva, Switzerland on the topic “New policy developments, impacts of COVID-19, and options for affordability”. The workshop was organized under the leadership of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe under the joint secretariat of the Protocol on Water and Health to the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes in cooperation with the lead Parties, France and Hungary.

The purpose of the workshop was to discuss policy developments in the field of equitable access to water and sanitation in the pan-European region, the relevance of guidelines and tools, and best practices in ensuring the affordability of drinking water and sanitation.

The workshop was attended by experts from the pan-European region whose work (in the sectors of environment, education, health, social protection and finance) is related to ensuring equal access to water and sanitation, as well as representatives of development agencies, donors, and civil society organizations.

During the workshop, a number of case studies were presented demonstrating new policy developments aimed at ensuring equitable access to water and sanitation. Participating countries shared information on measures taken in the field of water supply, sanitation and hygiene in the context of COVID-19.

Plenary presentations and discussions were complemented by interactive working sessions during which participants shared knowledge and experience gained in the field of equal access.

The regional workshop provided an opportunity to broaden the exchange of lessons learned since the previous workshop in 2016, as well as to discuss practical approaches to meet the challenges of the new reality, and the next program of work of the Protocol on Water and Health for 2023-2025.