COVID-19 Response and WASH Lessons Learned Pakistan

Evaluation and Lessons Learned
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• As of December 2020, there have been 473,309 positive cases with 9,929 deaths across the country.

• Close to nine million people have been supported with hygiene promotion services including COVID19 prevention and control information. Almost five million people have used the 1,915 additional handwashing stations in HCFs, schools, and at communal points in affected areas.

• To date, UNICEF supported the training of 6,200 frontline sanitary workers to enhance their capacity on WASH/IPC in HCFs and high-risk communities.

• Solid-waste management and drainage emerged as major challenges during the pandemic. People discarded used PPE indiscriminately in public places and in HCFs.


The COVID-19 pandemic spread to Pakistan on 6 February 2020 with the first case in Karachi. As of December 2020, there have been 473,309 positive cases with 9,929 deaths across the country. Sindh province has the highest number of COVID-19 cases at 138,000, followed by Punjab with 99,812 cases. UNICEF focused its WASH response on the provision of water, sanitation, hygiene promotion, environmental cleaning and disinfection, solid waste management, and capacity-building support. UNICEF implemented WASH/Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) interventions across the whole country, as the pandemic progressed and concentrated its efforts in 20 of 27 high-burden districts. With the reopening of schools, UNICEF redirected its efforts towards supporting safe reopening by ensuring the availability and functionality of WASH facilities, including handwashing stations. As Co-Chair of the WASH Sector Working Group, UNICEF shared its strategies with over 70 members and contributed to drafting the National WASH/IPC COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan. After the launch of the Hand Hygiene for All initiative, the UNICEF Pakistan Country Office immediately started to advocate and support the development of a country roadmap in support of the initiative