20 March 2018, Brussels – The European Commission and the Government of Palestine, in partnership with the Union for the Mediterranean, will host on 20 March, in Brussels, an international donor Pledging Conference to consolidate high-level political and financial support to the construction of a large-scale desalination plant and its associated water supply infrastructure in the Gaza Strip, a UfM flagship project since 2011.
The desalination plant will supply drinking water to 2 million Palestinian inhabitants, thereby ensuring a sustainable solution for the chronic and longstanding water shortage and humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip, where over 95% of the water is not drinkable due to the over-pumping of the Coastal Aquifer.
The Donor Conference will be opened by the Palestinian Prime Minister, Rami Hamdallah and the EU Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn, in the presence of UfM Deputy Secretary General for Water and Environment, Miguel García-Herraiz. It will bring together representatives of up to 60 countries, international organisations and financial institutions active in supporting development projects in the region. The Conference will take place back to back with the meeting of the international donor group for Palestine, the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC).