9-12 February, UfM headquarters, Barcelona.
The UfM Secretariat together with the Palestinian Water Authority are organising on 10 February in Barcelona a technical coordination meeting with the European Commission and key international financial institutions involved in the promotion of the Desalination Facility for the Gaza Strip project, namely the European Investment Bank, the Islamic Development Bank and the World Bank. The meeting will provide the opportunity to finalise a unified financial mechanism and prepare the ground for the upcoming Donor’s Conference with the overall goal of securing the remaining amount to start the construction of the Gaza’s Desalination Facility.
Almotaz Abadi, Acting Deputy Secretary General for Water and Environment, recently conducted a mission to Luxembourg to accelerate together with the three International Financial Institutions, the set up of a viable financial mechanism that will accommodate donors’ funds through dedicated trust funds with a view to smoothly channel the grant funds to the different components of the Desalination Facility project. Participants will discuss the tranche of funds to enable the launch of the bidding process for the large-scale desalination.
The Palestinian Government has reaffirmed the importance attributed to this project by HE President Abbas “to save the lives of the Palestinian people living in the Gaza Strip and also to protect the aquifer system from the collateral damage”. On 19 January, the Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Riyadh Al-Malki, met with the Secretary General of the UfM, Fathallah Sijilmassi, in Barcelona. Al-Malki stressed the importance of this project for the region and called on all parties to start preparing the ground for the Donor’s Conference, which is expected to take place in the first semester of 2016.
The Desalination Facility for the Gaza Strip project, aims at building a large-scale desalination facility and its associated water supply infrastructure that will supply drinking water to more than 1.8 million Palestinian inhabitants of the Gaza Strip, thereby presenting a long-term solution for the chronic and longstanding water shortage in Gaza.
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