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UNU-INWEH Report: 23 Water Insecure Countries in the World

Twenty-three countries in the world are critically water insecure, according to a report published by the United Nations. However, 33 countries over three geographic regions are water secure. Many of these regions have water-insecure countries topping the list. 


World Water Day is globally observed on March 22, focusing on the preservation and significance of fresh water. The United Nations is paramount to the necessity of water preservation and controlled usage of fresh water. 


On 23 March 2023, United Nations University - Institute for Water, Environment and Health published a report. The report concluded that 3 out of 4 people live in water-insecure countries. Furthermore, the number of people who die from safe water drinking, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) is considerably more than deaths due to water disasters. 


Among the water-insecure countries, Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) face unfavorable water security due to various factors. 

List of Water Insecure Countries 

A total of 23 countries are water insecure around the world 16 of them are LCDs, and 7 are SIDS. 

  • Solomon Islands

  • Eritrea

  • Sudan

  • Ethiopia

  • Vanuatu 

  • Afghanistan

  • Djibouti 

  • Haiti

  • Papua New Guinea 

  • Somalia

  • Libya

  • Madagascar

  • Pakistan

  • South Sudan

  • Micronesia

  • Niger

  • Sierra Leone 

  • Yemen

  • Chad 

  • Comoros

  •  Sri Lanka 

Water Abundant Countries Facing High Death Tolls

The report also put forward another looming issue, more than 70 percent of the global population doesn’t have access to safe water. As a result, WASH-attributed deaths top the report. Even freshwater copious countries like America, Asia Pacific, and Africa have high rates of deaths due to limited WASH access, abject water quality, and water having low economic value. Meanwhile, knee-high wash services are observed in Africa. 

Water-Secure  Countries

Among three geographic regions, Sweden is the most water-secure country. The list of 33 water-secure countries is given below. 

Water-secure Countries in Europe are:

  •   Denmark

  • Luxembourg

  • Austria

  • Norway

  • Switzerland

  • Finland

  • Iceland

  • Ireland

  • France

  • Lithuania

  • Greece

  • Germany

  • The UK

  • Estonia

  • Italy

  • Latvia

  • Spain

  • Slovakia

  • Slovenia

  • Croatia

  • Czechia

  • Hungary

  • Portugal

Water-secure Countries in the Asia Pacific are:

  • New Zealand

  • Cyprus

  • Australia

  • Japan

  • Israel

  • Kuwait

  • Malaysia

Water-secure Countries in America are:

  • Canada 

  • The USA

How to Become Water Smart?

Being water smart is the central requirement for becoming water-protected countries. 

  • The Installation of tanks and the construction of dams could store the rainwater efficiently without any loss. 

  • Implementation of a drip irrigation system could provide water to plants in tubes. That would restrict water loss and assist in managing water productively. 

  • The formation of modified seed banks should materialize to distribute quality, rainfall, and drought-resistant seeds to the farmers. 

  • The Government should build schools specifically for farmers. They will learn how to maintain their crops and improve livestock production in different climate conditions. 




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