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Covid-19: Solid Waste Management in Response to the Crisis

It is essential for public health to ensure the continuity of solid waste management services in a safe and sustainable way, especially in case of sanitary emergency such as the Covid-19 crisis. Not only the situation can disrupt the collection and treatment systems, but also additional wastes caused by the emergency itself may be generated; these include medical waste that could potentially spread the virus and increase the gravity of the crisis.

Moreover, management of medical waste including potentially infectious materials is a key element of crisis management. Developing countries are more vulnerable as their solid waste management framework often lacks of structure and resources, and does not include specific measures for medical waste management.

In times of crisis, poor solid waste management may increase the risks associated to the same crisis, with impacts on health and on the environment. Governments must thus include domestic and medical waste related issues in their emergency plans, but also in future development strategies.

As for projects under appraisal or ongoing, AFD has the possibility, at the request of its counterparts, to mobilize financing or technical assistance in the solid waste management sector, to focus on an emergency response to tackle the consequences of the Covid-19 crisis.

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