World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP)

WWAP is the flagship programme of UN-Water. The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) set the target to reduce by half the proportion of people without access to safe drinking water and sanitation by 2015. 

In 2005 the Commission on Sustainable Development decided to include the Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) into the national development plans of each country. 

The objectives are to:

  • Assess the state of the world's freshwater resources and ecosystems;
  • Identify critical issues and problems;
  • Develop indicators and measure progress towards achieving sustainable use of water resources;
  • Help countries develop their own assessment capacity;
  • Provide information on lessons learned and publish a World Water Development Report (WWDR) at regular intervals.

© UNESCO/ Roger, Dominique

Action through shared investment

Undertaken by UN-Water on behalf of the UN system, WWAP is aided by a Trust Fund and sustained by donors’ contributions:

  • UNESCO hosts and manages the WWAP Trust Fund;
  • Generous assistance from the government of Japan supported the programme in its first two Phases;
  • Many other governments also contributed to its success, with major donations from Spain, the United Kingdom, France and Turkey, in addition to those governments that had supported country case-study preparation.

Japanese support

Japan’s contribution to WWAP is an important component of the activities carried out within the framework of the UNESCO-Japan funds in trust for capacity building. They sponsored the first two phases (2000-2006) as well as the plan for phase 3 (2006-2009).

Italian support

In February 2009, Italy and UNESCO signed an agreement under which Italy would provide a grant of 7.5 million Euro for the implementation of the third phase of the WWAP and transfer its Secretariat to Italy. The Umbria Region generously assigned UNESCO the use of the Villa La Colombella in the city of Perugia. WWAP has based its headquarters at the Villa, where it also hosts capacity-building activities and other events jointly with partner organizations.

Danish support

Denmark cooperates with UNESCO in the WWAP since 2006. Denmark calls for integrating the concept of sustainable development into the MDGs review. Countries are requested to integrate the international goals on water, sanitation and human settlement in Poverty Reduction Strategies and national development plans. 


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