Working with other organizations in bringing more effective WASH programs in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region was the focus of an initial workshop organized by UNICEF and World Vision in September 2017, in Jordan. This event at the Dead Sea has been a follow up meeting convened by WASH specialists from World Vision, UNICEF, International Committee of the Red Cross, Action Against Hunger and Oxfam. A stronger focus in this specific meeting was to start developing an advocacy plan around WASH for the region.
The mandate of both these Workshops continue to be to reflect on the WASH challenges in the MENA region, to propose recommendations and to consider how to move from humanitarian to long-term, sustainable WASH development. All the participants who have attended one or both of these workshops agree that all agencies supporting WASH should ultimately aim to support sustainable, safely managed services, in line with the SDGs, regardless of whether the context is an acute emergency, a protracted crisis, or a more stable context. They also agreed that it remains essential to collaborate together as organizations on the further development of key messages, gaps, and next steps that should be shared with a wider group of stakeholders, with the ultimate goal of developing a guidance framework to inform country-level actions. It is clear that the secret to lasting WASH also for this MENA region is and will be to continue sharing and collaboration with other organizations. This message is important for us all as we strive to make sustainable WASH service a reality.