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World Bank to fund Gaza water services rehabilitation

Nov. 27, 2012 10:46 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 28, 2012 8:27 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The World Bank approved on Tuesday a $6.4 million grant to improve and expand coverage of water and sewage services in the Gaza Strip, the financial institution said.

In a statement, the World Bank said the board of directors approved the plan for the Gaza Water Supply and Sewage Systems Improvement Project, which will finance the rehabilitation and expansion of water and wastewater systems and enhance the capacity to provide and maintain water and sewage services.

“We are concerned about the lack of clean water supply and the deterioration in the quality of water resources in the Gaza Strip, one of the most densely populated areas on earth,” said World Bank country director Mariam Sherman

“The new project is very important to Gaza citizens. Not only will it increase the sustainability of water and sewage networks, but it will also allow the utility to better serve the needs of their customers.”

Iyad Rammal, an infrastructure specialist for the World Bank, said it had a longstanding focus on water and sanitation in its program for the occupied territories and hoped to address critical deterioration of the water system.

“As part of the Bank strategy for the West Bank and Gaza to support local institutions, the project will provide technical and operational assistance so that water and sewage services may be more efficiently managed,” he said.

The project will fund the construction of water tanks to collect and blend water from different sources in order improve the quality and efficiency of Gaza water supply and wastewater services.

A strategic partnership with the Islamic Development Bank will also allow a contribution of $11.14 million in parallel financing to the project, the statement said.
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