June 25, 2015 10:15 A.M. (Updated: June 25, 2015 10:15 A.M.)

JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — A $2 million grant to the Palestinian water sector has been given by the World Bank to strengthen the capacity of the water authority and contribute to implement reform initiatives as outlined in the water law.

“With the new water law, the Palestinian Authority has a good framework to deal with the severe challenges the sector faces, such as limited resources, insufficient waste water treatment and reuse, and an alarming situation in Gaza where 96 percent of water resources are unfit for human use,” said Steen Lau Steen Lau Jorgensen, World Bank director.

“We are proud to be supporting the continued strengthening of state institutions in this essential sector for the future of all Palestinians.”

The project will help establish streamlined water institutions with clear roles and responsibilities in line with the new water law that stipulates the establishment of the Water Sector Regulatory Council, independent from the Palestinian Water Authority. The World Bank will provide capacity building support to both through the existing Water Sector Capacity Building Project and this additional grant.

The World Bank supports building institutions at the national level and financing infrastructure and capacity building through projects like the Northern Gaza Emergency Sewage Treatment Project, the Gaza Water Supply and Sanitation Improvement Project, the Hebron Regional Wastewater Management Project, and the Water Supply and Sanitation Improvement for West Bethlehem Village Project.

“The investment in the Palestinian water institutions is a strategic priority in the context of acute water problems and future needs as a result of a growing population. The improvement and expansion of infrastructure must be accompanied by the capacity-building required for Palestinians to run the water sector independently and efficiently,” said Iyad Rammal, Senior World Bank Infrastructure Specialist.

The additional financing comes from the Partnership for Water and Urban Development, Multi-donor Trust Fund that received contributions from the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA), the governments of Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, Croatia and Portugal and the Agence Franaise de Dveloppement (AFD).