Palestine signs 23-mln-euro deal with EU to improve water in West Bank

Palestine signed a 23-million-euro agreement on Wednesday with the European Union and the French Development Agency (AFD) on supporting a water improvement project in the West Bank.

The agreement, signed in Ramallah, supports additional water quantities for the areas in northwestern Ramallah and northeastern Jenin, according to a Palestinian government statement sent to Xinhua.

The EU finances the project with 13 million euros and the AFD with 10 million euros, the government statement said, adding the project will be launched in the villages of the two areas soon.

Meanwhile, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Ishtaye said in a press statement that getting water is “a right before it is a need … (and) the project is part of our development priorities.”

“The project will directly increase the pumping of water in Ramallah and Salfit (as part of Jenin area) by about 25,000 cubic meters per day,” said Ishtaye, who attended the signing ceremony of the agreement.

The agreement also provides some studies related to establishing water lines in Jenin area to effectively address the shortage of water on the Palestinian lands, he added.

EU Representative in Palestine Sven Kuhn von Burgsdorff, who also attended the signing ceremony, said the EU gives water projects priority among its cooperation programs with the Palestinian government, according to Ishtaye’s press statement.

The important agreement “will serve the needs of 76,000 Palestinians and facilitate water access to the central West Bank,” Burgsdorff added.