Water governance in Asia-Pacific

The Asia-Pacific region has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, with over 250 000 deaths as of March 2021 and a decrease in GDP by 4.3% in ASEAN and by 2.0% in Emerging Asia in 2020. The pandemic acted as a magnifying glass on pressing water and sanitation challenges in Asia-Pacific countries, stressing and widening inequalities for 30 to 40% of households that do not have a dedicated place for washing hands with soap and water on premises. This report uses the OECD Principles on Water Governance as an assessment framework to provide a regional analysis of the state of play of water governance in 48 countries of the Asia – Pacific region. It maps the existence and level of implementation of key governance frameworks, institutions and mechanisms, and dives into select governance gaps before drawing preliminary observations on the extent to which effective water governance correlates with tangible water security outcomes in surveyed countries.

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