Skip to main content

Food-Water-Energy nexus support to post-COVID-19 recovery in Eastern Europe, Western Balkans, Central Asia, the Middle East, and Africa

Duration: 2022-2025 

Implementing entity: United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) 

Cooperating entity: ECA, ESCAP, ESCWA, UNEP, UNU-INWEH, WHO/Europe 

Beneficiary countries: Albania, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Iraq, Algeria, Nigeria, and Namibia

A smiling woman pouring water from one basket to another


The project aims to develop a sustainable and integrated management approach interconnecting the food, water and energy nexus to help manage the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is designed to strengthen natural resources management by harnessing the interlinkages of the food-energy-water nexus to provide targeted assistance to selected beneficiary countries and promoting multilateral cooperation at national, regional and inter-regional levels for socio-economic recovery, ecosystem restoration and resilience building in rural and urban areas.   

The three pillars of the project are: 

  • Food security and sustainable production and consumption patterns: End hunger, achieve food security and promote sustainable food systems and agriculture 

  • Water, sanitation and hygiene: Ensure availability and equitable access to water, sanitation and hygiene for good health and well-being 

  • Energy and raw material supply: Ensure secure, resilient and sustainable consumption and production patterns 

Within the project’s scope, the UNECE-WHO/Europe joint secretariat is responsible for implementing activities related to water, sanitation, and hygiene in Albania and Belarus.  


The COVID-19 pandemic has brought in complex challenges not only on the health front but on a broad spectrum of essential services related to food, water, energy and raw material supply, leading to a general deterioration in social protection. Moreover, since the crisis emerged rapidly, these services were not adequately prepared to withstand the economic disruptions that came in its wake. The resulting social impact included unemployment, worsening of hygiene, sanitation, and general health of a vast majority of the population. 

The pandemic has significantly affected vulnerable and marginalized communities with significant intergenerational implications. Therefore, efforts to “leave no one behind” need to be multidisciplinary – including the provision of essential services such as food, water and sanitation, energy, and raw materials. By focusing on these aspects, the project aims to build vibrant communities and integrate a human rights-based approach, as activities will contribute to the progressive realization of fundamental social, economic, and cultural rights, including the human rights to safe and healthy food and the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation.    

Target audience 

The key stakeholders will be policymakers responsible for developing national policies on food, water and sanitation, and energy resources. All activities foreseen under the project require intersectoral cooperation between the ministries responsible for its implementation.  

Project outputs 

The joint-secretariat is responsible for the implementation of the following outputs: 

Project output 1.1

Pilot application of the methodology to assess equitable access to water and sanitation in up to two beneficiary countries; One systematic situation assessment of WASH conditions in health care facilities in one selected beneficiary country. 

Project output 1.3

One methodology for assessing equity of access to water and sanitation in the context of COVID-19 and other water-related epidemics destined for policymakers, officials at all levels and experts in national institutions. 

Project output 1.5

1.5-day regional workshop to disseminate the equitable access methodology and the lessons learned from the pilot application. 

Project output 2.1

2-day regional workshop to share knowledge and gather lessons learned on actions taken by governments in the area of water, sanitation and hygiene in the context of COVID-19 or other water-related epidemics. 

Project output 2.3

1.5-day sub-regional workshop on promoting interventions on WASH in schools for better health and educational outcomes. 

Project output 2.4

Development of training materials for policymakers, officials at all levels and experts in national institutions and delivery of sub-regional and national capacity-building events. 

For more information on the United Nations Development Account, click here