WASHINGTON, December 18, 2013 - The World Bank would like to note that we are strongly committed to the water sharing agreement that was signed in the form of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on December 9, 2013 at World Bank headquarters, by the ministers responsible for water in the three cooperating governments: H.E. Minister Silvan Shalom for Israel, H.E. Hazim El-Naser for Jordan and H.E. Minister Shaddad Attili for the Palestinian Authority. This agreement is a significant milestone in regional cooperation to manage scarce water resources, and also supports the joint development and use of new water resources through sea water desalination. The Bank views this as a significant step forward to provide new water to a deeply water-stressed region.
The World Bank Vice President for the Middle East and North Africa Region, Ms. Inger Andersen, confirmed the World Bank’s full support to the project and the regional water sharing initiatives underway. A Bank spokesperson confirmed that, following the signing, the Bank team has already engaged with donors who are signaling significant interest in supporting this work. Once the technical studies have satisfactorily been completed, if requested, the World Bank Group would also consider exploring a financial engagement in the project. Every effort will be made to assist the three governments in moving forward, with the ultimate goal of helping to implement the project.
“I am pleased that the long term engagement of the World Bank has facilitated this next step by the three governments, which will enhance water availability and facilitate the development of new water through desalination”, said Inger Andersen and concluded “I would like to emphasize the World Bank’s continuous engagement to help all sides make decisive and historic progress.”