Providing safe drinking water in Gaza: the Desalination Facility Programme to reach additional funding
- One year after the International Donor Conference, additional international funding has been obtained for the project. The first tenders have been launched and the first construction works are due to start in August.
- The desalination plant is expected to supply drinking water to 2 million Palestinian inhabitants in Gaza, where over 97% of the water is not drinkable
Barcelona, 2 May 2019. The available water in Gaza is among the lowest in the world and 97% is unfit for human consumption. To meet this urgent need, and on the occasion of the annual spring meeting of the international donor coordination group in support of the Palestinian economy the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC), an information session on the state of play of the Gaza Desalination Facility Programme, was held in the European Commission (EC) headquarters, where partners to the project took stock of the progress achieved since the international Donor Conference held on 20 March 2018
This information session on the state of play of the Plant, a project labelled by the UfM, gathered all core partners of the project, including the UfM, the European Investment Bank (EIB), the World Bank (WB) and the Office of the Quartet (OQ), and was co-chaired by the Government of Palestine (GoP)/ (PWA), the EC, the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), as well as donors from the international community.
The event enabled the Palestinian government to present the progress on the project. In particular, a detailed timeline for completion was presented, identifying June 2023 as a target date for the plant to be up and running. In this regard, the project is already becoming a reality on the ground: first tenders have been launched, with the support of the World Bank, the first construction works are due to start in August, and substantial progress has been achieved in ongoing discussions between Palestine and Israel regarding arrangements for the entry of materials into Gaza for this project with support of OQ and UNSCO.
A year after the Donor Conference, additional funding for the project has been obtained raising over 80% of the 580 million final cost, covered by 16 countries and international organisations. At the information session, a number of new donors reported on their own preparations for joining the project with additional funding, which expected to be announced when procedures are completed.
The Gaza Central Desalination Plant will provide water for the two million Palestinian inhabitants living in Gaza, contributing to the environmental sustainability and economic development of the area.