On 20 March, the European Commission and the Government of Palestine will host an international Pledging Conference to harness broad international support for the construction of a large-scale water desalination plant and its associated infrastructure in the Gaza Strip.
The Gaza Central Desalination Plant & Associated Works Project is the biggest ever investment project in Gaza. It will provide safe and clean water to the whole population of Gaza, addressing the most pressing humanitarian needs of the region and its longstanding water shortage. 97% of the available water is not drinkable due to the over-pumping of a polluting Coastal Aquifer. The project will significantly contribute to the environmental sustainability, economic development and stability in Gaza.
The total cost of the project will amount € 562.3 million. The Pledging Conference will seek to increase the existing political support and financial commitment to bring the desalination plant closer to its realisation.
The Donor Conference will be opened by EU Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn and the Palestinian Prime Minister, Rami Hamdallah, in presence of the main partners of this project: the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), the European Investment Bank (EIB), the World Bank (WB), The Union for Mediterranean (UfM), and the Office of the Quartet. It will bring together representatives of up to 60 countries.
The Conference will take place back to back with the meeting of the international donor group for Palestine, the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC). The humanitarian crisis in Gaza and how to respond with targeted financial aid, will be a focus of the discussion.