On the occasion of the opening of the 6th World Water Forum on Monday 12 march in Marseilles, French Prime Minister François Fillon announced in the presence of the Prime Minister of the Palestinian National Authority Salam Fayyad a 10 million Euros support from France to fund a project of a desalination unit in the Gaza strip.
French Prime Minister recalled in his speech that this project was “the first to have been given the approval from the Union for the Mediterranean in 2011” and that it was “perfectly illustrating the approach consisting in creating solidarities between countries along the banks of the Mediterranean”. He stressed that “the Mediterranean of peace will probably be built up around sun and water”.
The project of a desalination unit in Gaza aims to answer the current and future needs in drinking water in the Gaza strip, which numbers 1.6 million inhabitants and where only 5% of the water is suitable for consumption. This project should also allow the restoration of the coastal aquifer, in coherence with the strategic objective of the Union for the Mediterranean of getting rid of pollution in the Mediterranean. This project will also provide job opportunities to the population of Gaza.
The water sector is the first priority of the French cooperation in the Palestinian territories, with about 100 million Euros disbursed since 1998.