Water and sanitation are at the core of sustainable development in Panama. The range of services they provide to the country underpin poverty reduction, economic growth and environmental sustainability. However, in recent decades over-exploitation, pollution, and climate change have led to severe water stress in the country. Now more than ever the country needs to transform the way it manages its water resources and delivers water and sanitation services for millions of people.
Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG 6) on water and sanitation provides the blueprint for ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. However, overall action to achieve the SDGs in Panama is not yet progressing at the necessary speed or scale. The country informed in various fora such as the High Level Political Forum, of their struggle with SDG 6 implementation and achievement due to a lack of institutional, human, financial and technological capacity. This led the Government of Panama to formally address to the CDI, a formal request for Panama to be considered as a pilot country of the Initiative.
In collaboration with the Government of Panama, the UN Resident Coordinator and Country Team, and UN-Water family Members and Partners, a series of actions and activities will be implemented in Panama in order to augment the national capacity and develop a plan related to the capacities of the water sector, based on a capacity gap assessment and on the country’s priorities. Capacity development resources are available within UN-Water Members and Partners. The CDI Coordination Team will mobilize these resources to assist Panama in designing a comprehensive programme to develop capacities at different levels to accelerate SDG 6 attainment.
As one of the main components of the CDI intervention in Panama, this High Level Integrated Workshop will discuss the capacity development gaps and challenges in the water and sanitation sectors in Panama. Priority areas of intervention and stakeholders will be identified. Topics and priority areas of discussion are of strategic interest for the Government of Panama, and these will be addressed during the Workshop, to which senior officials and experts are invited.