Director-General Chan designates WHO collaborating centre in Western Pacific

News release

Public Utilities Board

World Health Organization Director-General Dr Margaret Chan has inaugurated a WHO collaborating centre to make drinking water safer in the Western Pacific and beyond.

On 22 March, which also marked World Water Day, she and Singaporean Minister of the Environment and Water Resources Dr Vivian Balakrishnan inaugurated the WHO Collaborating Centre for Safe Drinking Water Management and Integrated Urban Water Management at the Technology and Water Quality Office of Singapore's national water agency, the Public Utilities Board (PUB).

"I deeply and personally appreciate what you have done," said Dr Chan during the inauguration ceremony. "Singapore's human capital, knowledge and experience can make a major contribution, through WHO, to other parts of the world."

WHO collaborating centres are research or academic institutions that the Director-General designates to carry out activities in support of WHO programmes. Currently, there are more than 800 collaborating centres in over 80 Member States working with WHO in areas such as nursing, occupational health, nutrition, mental health, health technologies and communicable and noncommunicable diseases.

WHO and Singapore have had a formal cooperation agreement since 2007 to promote safe management of drinking water in water-scarce regions.

"The ongoing partnership with WHO is a strong boost to Singapore's aspirations to be at the forefront of water research to improve access to safe, sustainable drinking water globally," said Chew Men Leong, PUB's chief executive.

As a collaborating centre, PUB will:

  • conduct capacity-building activities and training courses for Member States, with special reference to WHO's South-East Asia and Western Pacific regions;
  • serve as a regional knowledge and technical resource centre for authorities, utilities and research and professional institutions in WHO Member States, sharing best practices, expertise and experience;
  • function as an active partner in supporting WHO global and regional networks related to management of safe drinking water;
  • serve as WHO's regional policy research hub on relevant regulatory, water industry structure and pricing issues;
  • research on conventional and advanced water and wastewater treatment applications and their cost-effectiveness, and collaborate with WHO on research and knowledge gaps on emerging issues related to water quality; and
  • provide facilities to assist WHO in drinking water safety efforts during emergency responses and disasters.

For more information, please contact:

Timothy O'Leary
Public Information Office
Tel: +63 2 528 9992
Mobile: +63 908 886 8738
Fax: +63 2 528 9069

Marilu Lingad
Public Information Office
Tel: +63 2 528 9993
Mobile: +63 908 891 4532