When the COVID-19 pandemic threatened our global community, our work to bring clean water, decent sanitation and good hygiene to everyone, everywhere was never more critical. Thanks to our supporters and partners across the world, we used our 40 years of experience to increase access to these vital needs to people living with the greatest poverty.

We worked across 28 countries to share the crucial hygiene messages we all had to follow to keep each other safe from coronavirus, and to provide lasting access to water, sanitation and hygiene essentials, so people could defend against and build resilience to COVID-19 and other contagious diseases.

As the pandemic escalated, so did our work in countries with already fragile health systems, to protect as many of those most at risk as possible and prevent a humanitarian catastrophe.

What we did

  • We protected the people most vulnerable to COVID-19 by installing handwashing facilities and ensuring access to essentials like soap, water, hand sanitiser and disinfectant in healthcare centres, densely populated places and rural areas.
  • We promoted best practices for protecting against coronavirus through mass public hygiene behaviour change campaigns, reaching more than 99 million people.
  • We helped water, sanitation and hygiene service providers to ensure no one lost access during the pandemic.
  • We supported governments to coordinate COVID-19 responses, and to identify the groups most at risk.
  • We built long-term resilience to future pandemics by strengthening the systems that ensure lasting, inclusive services.
  • We campaigned for governments and donors to prioritise and fund getting services to everyone, especially those most vulnerable to COVID-19.

Use the interactive map to see some highlights of our COVID-19 response around the world:

Our response across the world

Read our COVID-19 blogs

Hear from our practitioners

How can we bring equality and inclusion principles, human rights, global finance, and sustainable water services together to reach everyone, everywhere with life-saving water and hygiene?

Salman, a disabled Zari worker, arriving at a group workshop near his house in the Rajauri village in Rajauri, on the outskirts of Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India on 20 December
Image: WaterAid/ Anindito Mukherjee