Question of Palestine home
2 July 1996
The World Bank
1818 H Street NW, Washington, DC 20433, USA
NEWS RELEASE 96/33/MENA
Contact:Contact: Jeannie Yamine (202) 473—2318
WATER AND SANITATION IN GAZA STRIP GETS $25 MILLION BOOST FROM WORLD BANK
WASHINGTON, July 2, 1996—The World Bank approved a $25 million equivalent credit drawn from the Trust Fund for Gaza and the West Bank to support the Palestinian Executive Authority’s efforts to provide adequate water and sanitation services to the Gaza Strip. World Bank studies show that about half of the water flowing through the Gaza Strip’s distribution systems is lost, three out of every four households are not connected to a sewerage system, and no municipal well in Gaza meets World Health Organization guidelines of drinking water quality.
The Palestinian Executive Authority’s $28 million Water and Sanitation Services Project in Gaza is aimed at improving the quality, quantity and management of water, and wastewater services in Gaza. The project is aimed at improving the efficiency of the water distribution system, disinfecting water supplies and boosting the efficiency of revenues collection. It is part of a broader program to upgrade and extend municipal water supply networks as well as rehabilitate and construct municipal storm-water and sewerage networks, and improve village water distribution.
“The Water and Sanitation Services Project in Gaza will build on efforts launched under the Bank-supported Emergency Rehabilitation Project,” World Bank Task Manager Jamal Saghir said. “Those efforts are also in line with the priority needs identified for the water sector in the West Bank and Gaza, under the three-year $1.2 billion Emergency Assistance Program,” Mr. Saghir added.
The four-year project consists of a performance-based Management Contract with an international private operator to improve water and sanitation service delivery of local, municipal, and village council water departments which will be achieved through a Service Improvement Program. In a second phase, the private operator will assist in the creation of a Water and Wastewater Company for Gaza that would consolidate the water and wastewater services of village councils and municipalities.
Operating investment funds are a second component of the project and are deemed essential to ensure the financing of goods, works and services by the private operator. The third project component will finance technical assistance and institutional capacity development initiatives. It will cover the provision of auditors, among others, to monitor the operator’s performance. Assisting in strengthening the newly-created Palestinian Water Authority also falls under this component.
The $25 million World Bank credit is on standard International Development Association (IDA) terms with 40 years’ maturity, including a 10 years grace period. The remaining $3 million of the total project cost will be contributed by the Palestinian Executive Authority.
“Improving the quality, quantity, and management of water and wastewater services in Gaza is essential for the development of the sector and for improving the quality of life for the population in general,” Mr. Saghir said.