WASHINGTON, April 1, 2011 (WAFA) — The World Bank Board of Directors Thursday approved a $3 million grant to the Palestinian Water Authority (PWA) that will fund the know-how needed to design and implement a sustainable water resources management strategy, said a World Bank press release.

The amount will also be used to train Palestinians to effectively execute and monitor reforms of the management of this key resource.

The scarce water resources available in the West Bank and Gaza, said the World Bank, “are further constrained by limitations on access to natural resources imposed by the closure regime,” in reference to Israel’s closure policy.

“This presents a major humanitarian and development challenge and as such this sector has long been a central component of the World Banks Palestinian program,” it added.

‘If we really want to invest in the future of the water sector in the West Bank and Gaza, improvement and expansion of infrastructure must be accompanied by the capacity-building required for Palestinians to run it independently and efficiently,” said Mariam Sherman, Country Director for the West Bank and Gaza.

‘This grant is part of the World Bank’s support to the Palestinian Authority’s effort to build institutions for a future Palestinian State,’ said Richard Pollard, Senior Water and Sanitation Specialist. ‘It is designed to help establish sustainable and streamlined water institutions with clear roles and responsibilities.’

The project is expected to contribute to the overall objectives of the PWA’s Water Sector Reform Initiative to establish strong institutions, respond to infrastructure needs, accelerate service provision, and improve water resources management.