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The high-level event Water and Beyond, hosted by the European Commission Directorate-General for International Partnerships and the Government of Slovenia, with the support of the Government of Portugal, is wrapping up its work today.  The event has provided insights on how to strengthen transboundary cooperation, build broader partnerships and trigger water investments in support of the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement.

Addressing the session “Water as an equaliser: realising impact for human development”, Ion Salaru, Deputy Director of the National Agency for Public Health of the Republic of Moldova, highlighted that water is a key factor for public health and environment, specifically in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. He presented examples of European Union support under the European Union Water Initiative Plus (EUWI+) programme, citing the recent adoption of the revised Water and Sanitation Strategy and the work on the National Program for the implementation of the Protocol on Water and Health. He also added that the Protocol on Water and Health is now specifically referenced in the new EU Drinking Water Directive as a mechanism that countries could use to “assess the  policy background and the baseline situation on access to water and to define the actions necessary to improve equitable access for all to water intended for human consumption”.

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Speaking in the session on “The water-climate nexus: how to address the cascading crises”, Iryna Stavchuk, Deputy Minister of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of Ukraine highlighted the importance of support the country received for the analytical and field work on River Basin Management Plans and for monitoring, specifically in the context of adaptation to climate change.

The Water and Beyond event is being held in a virtual mode from 18 to 21 January.