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News Desalination and the rule of law: EU announces new projects to support Palestinian Authority

Two major sectors in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, the sustainable management of natural resources and the rule of law, will benefit from new EU funding. Announcing a €10 million water desalination facility project in the Gaza Strip, the Acting EU Representative, John Gatt-Rutter said: “I am very pleased to be signing today an agreement with the Palestinian Authority to launch an infrastructure project in Gaza. As the EU has reiterated in the past, the continued policy of closure in Gaza has damaged the natural environment, notably water and other natural resources. I hope that this intervention can bring real change for some Palestinians living under unsustainable conditions in the Strip”. 

 The Acting EU Representative signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Head of the Palestinian Water Authority (PWA) as well as representatives of the Coastal Municipalities Water Utility (CMWU) and UNICEF to mark the agreement for the Short Term-Low Volume Desalination facility that will be constructed in the Gaza Strip over the next three years. 

As identified in the Study of comparative options for water resources (June 2011), this medium-term intervention responds to the humanitarian water crisis in Gaza. Once completed, it will provide safe drinking water and water for domestic use to nearly 75,000 inhabitants in the Khan Younis and Rafah Governorates of the Gaza Strip. 

Highlighting the support of the actors involved in this endeavour, Gatt-Rutter added: “I want to thank the PWA and the CMWU for their cooperation and commitment in making this project a quality one and in securing that the operation and maintenance of the plant will be sustainable. I also want to thank UNICEF for its important role in making the implementation of our support possible in Gaza”. 

The EU also launched a two-year project establishing the first Diploma for Judicial Studies in the Palestinian Judicial system. Through a €1.5 million grant, the EU will support the Palestinian Judicial Institute in carrying out all preparatory work towards an initial training programme for future judges and prosecutors. The project will also upgrade the available training resources by setting-up an Information Resource Centre with a specialised library to provide support to both trainers and trainees. On this occasion, the Acting EU Representative thanked the Palestinian Judicial Institute and the key institutions of the Justice sector, namely the Ministry of Justice, the High Judicial Council and the Office of the Attorney General, for supporting this project, addressing the education needs of the judicial system, and thereby enhancing the judicial institutions of the future Palestinian state with competent, effective and professional judges and prosecutors.


Press release 

European Commission Technical Assistance Office for the West Bank and Gaza Strip

UfM discusses Gaza Water Desalination project with financing institutions in the Gulf

Contact information n/a
News type Inbrief
File link
Source of information ENPI Info Centre
Keyword(s) Desalination, rule of law
Geographical coverage Palestine,
News date 19/12/2011
Working language(s) ENGLISH

UfM discusses Gaza Water Desalination project with financing institutions in the Gulf

A Delegation headed by Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) Deputy Secretary General Rafiq Husseini, in charge of Water and Environment portfolio, visited Kuwait and Saudi Arabia last week to present the Gaza water desalination project to financing institutions and funds.

 A press release said the UfM Delegation held meetings with the President of the Islamic Development Bank, HE Mr Ahmed Ali Mohamed, with the Vice-Chairman and Director General of the Saudi Fund for Development, HE Mr Youssef Al-Bassam, as well as with the Director of Operation of the Kuwait Fund, Mr Fawzi Al-Hunaif, and senior officials from the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development. 

Commenting on the successful visit to the Gulf, Dr. Husseini said “through cooperation between the South and the North of the Mediterranean, we are moving fast towards achieving what was a dream a few years ago, which is - by far - the largest single infrastructural project in Palestine”. 

Discussions focused on the water problem in Gaza and the need to build a large-scale desalination plant, which is the only long-term solution to address the water deficit in Gaza. The construction of a desalination facility is expected to alleviate the over pumping of groundwater from the coastal aquifer which underlies the Gaza Strip, hence stabilising and regenerating the only fresh water resources in Gaza. It is also expected to have a substantial impact in improving public health. 

The UfM visit was very positively welcomed by the Arab financing institutions and funds which encouraged the Secretariat in its endeavours to promote this vital project. The UfM is providing support to the promoter of the project, the Palestinian Water Authority, in raising the resources required to finance the project and which could amount to US$450 million. Detailed estimations are expected to be provided through the update of the Gaza desalination feasibility study, currently undertaken by the European Investment Bank (EIB). The Gaza Desalination project was the very first project to be labelled by the UfM, with a unanimous decision of the 43 UfM countries. 

This landmark operation consists of the construction of a 100 million cubic metre desalination facility and distribution system in the Gaza strip over two phases. The labelling of this large-scale project, is an acknowledgement that the project is capable of delivering concrete benefits for 1.6 million impoverished Palestinian citizens living on the southern shores of the Mediterranean, not only from humanitarian and health perspectives, but also contributing to job creation and future economic and sustainable development in this highly populated region of the Mediterranean. 

In March 2009, more than 25 countries had pledged to provide more than €2.5 billion for the reconstruction of Gaza at the Sharm El-Sheikh Conference, where the Arab countries pledged more than half the amount. 


Union for the Mediterranean – Environment and water


Further information on EMWIS website

Posted by jauad at 27 Jan 2012 16:37:48