RAMALLAH, March 1, 2011 (WAFA) – The Palestinian Authority and Japan Monday signed a cooperation agreement in which Japan would grant the PA $32 million for a water treatment project in Jericho.

Prime Minister Salam Fayyad signed the agreement at his Ramallah office with the representative of Japan to the PA, Naofumi Hashimoto.

The grant aid for Environment and Climate Change for Jericho Wastewater Collection, Treatment System and Reuse Project aims to construct a sewage treatment plant with a resource-circulative system, containing Japan’s advanced energy-saving technologies, in Jericho and the Jordan River Rift Valley area where serious environmental problems have been caused by a pile of untreated wastewater, said a statement issued by the Japan representative office.

“Through implementing this aid, it is expected not only to improve the living conditions and hygienic environments of those local residents who have been threatened by the soil and ground water pollutions caused by the foul wastewater, but also to contribute to a rise in the agricultural production over the area while obtaining a new water resource through the treated water reuse,” it said.

Furthermore, the treatment plant can serve the Jericho Agro-Industrial Park which will be established under the Japanese initiative of ‘Corridor for Peace and Prosperity.’

“This grant is a clear indicator of Japan’s determined commitment to continue its support for the peace-building efforts toward the two-state solution led by President Mahmoud Abbas, and for state-institutions building effort led by Prime Minister Salam Fayyad,” said the statement.

In addition, this grant is a part of around $100 million of Japan’s assistance in fiscal year 2010 which was committed by Japan during Fayyad’s visit to it in November 2010. This grant is also part of the government of Japan’s efforts to support the overseas expansion of Japan’s advanced technologies for environment and energy-savings, through its FY2010 supplementary budget.