Media Update: United Nations Pakistan, 30 September 2020

This Media Update includes: 

  • UNESCO- PRESS RELEASE : UNESCO, PCRWR and partners launch reports on UN World Water Development 2020; Groundwater Investigations and Mapping in the Lower Indus Plain

The Secretary-General



1 October 2020

The world marks the 30th anniversary of the International Day of Older Persons as we reckon with the disproportionate and severe impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has wrought on older persons around the world – not only on their health, but on their rights and well-being.

Older people must be a priority in our efforts to overcome COVID-19.  In keeping with the theme of this year’s commemoration, we must also examine how the pandemic might change how we address age and ageing in our societies.  Expanding opportunities for older persons and increasing their access to health, pensions and social protection will be crucial.  

This year’s observance falls as the world is also marking the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife, which highlights the vital role of health and social workers, such as nurses and midwives, in responding to the pandemic. The majority of them are women, including many older persons. These are the people who devote their lives to our care, and to the care of older persons, mothers and children, and deserve far greater support. 

As we seek to recover better together, we must make concerted efforts across the Decade of Healthy Ageing 2020-2030 to improve the lives of older persons, their families and communities.  The potential of older persons is a powerful basis for sustainable development. More than ever, we must listen to their voices, suggestions and ideas to build more inclusive and age-friendly societies.

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UNESCO, PCRWR and partners launch reports on UN World Water Development 2020; Groundwater Investigations and Mapping in the Lower Indus Plain

Islamabad, 30 September — UNESCO Islamabad in partnership with Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR), and in collaboration with The Asia Foundation, theUnited States Agency for International Development and the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) launched two reports; the UN World Water Development Report 2020, and PCRWR’s Groundwater Investigations and Mapping in the Lower Indus Plain. The launch was followed by a stakeholder consultation for the development of the “Groundwater Management Plan” for Pakistan. The consultation aims to help the government of Pakistan with the long-term  management of groundwater resources.

The World Water Development Report 2020 sheds light on the impact of climate change on the availability, quality and quantity of water needed for basic human needs, thus undermining the basic rights to safe drinking water and sanitation for billions of people.  Such a situation will also hinder the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 6, that ensures access to safe drinking water and sanitation for all. This presents a considerable challenge as 2.2 billion people currently do not have access to safely managed drinking water, and 4.2 billion, or 55% of the world's population, are without safely managed sanitation.

The report on Groundwater Investigations and Mapping in the Lower Indus Plain provides  information on areas where groundwater is under stress due to water depletion and quality deterioration. The report also identifies areas where usable groundwater is available. This information will help the stakeholders in future groundwater management.

Chaudhry Fawad Hussain, Federal Minister for Science and Technology in his remarks said that the present government has substantially increased the water resources development budget of the country.

Ms. Patricia McPhillips, UNESCO Representative in Pakistan, Dr. Muhammad Ashraf, Chairman, PCRWR, Mr. Muhammad Nawaz, USAID and Mr. Farid Alam, Director Programs, The Asia Foundation spoke on different aspects of water and climate change. 

The UN World Water Report 2020 can be downloaded


PCRWR Groundwater Investigation and Mapping report can be downloaded from: 



Media contact for UNESCO: Hamza Swati at or 051 260 0242

Media contact for PCRWR: Anwaar Ahmad at or 0334 5287073

Media Contacts
UN entities involved in this initiative
United Nations Department of Global Communications