Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) interventions are designed to provide life-saving, long-term and sustainable access to safe water and sanitation, whilst promoting good hygiene practices that reduce the risk of water-related disease transmission.  

Well-designed and implemented WASH interventions build capacity and resilience to unforeseen future shocks and stressors. IOM’s WASH services extend from infrastructure and management to education and behaviour change, delivering on the full continuum of WASH interventions from immediate needs to long-term development.   

As one part of a comprehensive response, IOM ensures the delivery of inclusive, durable and appropriate WASH interventions through coordination with local and international partners on related issues such as health, shelter, climate change adaptation, environment.  

Within the global WASH sector, IOM’s role has grown greatly in the past ten years. In 2021, IOM had active WASH interventions in 62 countries, reaching a total of 13.3 million people in need, with major programmes in Afghanistan, Mozambique, Pakistan, South Sudan, Sudan, Nigeria, Yemen, Ethiopia, Bangladesh and Somalia.  

Strategic Principles for IOM WASH Interventions

 The IOM WASH strategic plan 2019-2022 is founded on four core principles that aim to guide the design and implementation of WASH interventions: 

  • Scalability: WASH infrastructure and services planned to appropriately and efficiently address the needs of the target populations during emergencies are designed to allow future upgrades to deliver a durable solution.  

  • Immediacy: WASH responses control the spread of water-borne diseases and preserve the health of target populations, with a focus on the severely affected and hard-to-reach.  

  • Sustainability: WASH interventions empower and enable target populations to take ownership and resolve current and future WASH needs. 

  • Appropriateness: WASH responses make use of technologies and approaches compatible with the needs, knowledge and circumstances of the receiving population, fundamentally addressing critical health hazards.