Barcelona, 11 February 2016. The Palestinian Minister of Water, Mazen Ghunaim, and the Secretary General of the Union for the Mediterranean, Fathallah Sijilmassi, met yesterday in Barcelona to discuss the next steps concerning the Desalination Facility for the Gaza Strip project. They both participated in a coordination meeting with the European Commission and the International Financial Institutions involved in the development of the project, namely the European Investment Bank, the Islamic Development Bank and the World Bank, to finalise a unified financial mechanism.
The meeting prepared the ground for the upcoming High-level Donor Conference with the overall goal of securing the funding to start the construction of the desalination facility.
Minister Ghunaim reaffirmed that this project is a priority for the Government of Palestine and stressed “the pressing need to help stabilise the socio-economic situation for 1.9 million Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip under unacceptable environmental and health conditions”.
Secretary General Sijilmassi highlighted the strategic importance of this flagship project for the UfM and the entire Euro-Mediterranean region and commended the Minister for the recent achievements, including the approved long-term solution for the energy supply, the financial sustainability and the political guarantee for its construction and sustainability.