Official launch of the Water Policy Dialogue in Palestine

The first consultation workshop of the Water Policy Dialogue in Palestine, within the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) labelled project Governance & Financing for the Mediterranean Water Sector was held in close cooperation with the Palestinian Water Authority (PWA), on 13 November 2014, in Ramallah. With more than 40 key stakeholders from the government; private companies and banks; research institutes and Academia; media as well as the Civil Society actively participating, the workshop marked the official launch of the Policy Dialogue to be conducted by GWP-Med within the period 2014-2015.

During the high level opening, H.E. Mazen Ghuneim, Minister & Chairman at Palestinian Water Authority, after reinstating PWA’s support to the project, he referred to the ongoing water sector reform process aiming, inter alia, at improving water demand management in line with the development of water conservation, environmental and public health policies. Additionally, His Excellency highlighted the efforts made by the Government for growth and development as well as the role that the private sector- especially local in the case of Palestine- could play contributing to these efforts. In his turn, H.E. Naser Tahboub, UfM Deputy Secretary General for Environment and Water, referred to the timeliness of the UfM labelled project aligning with the current reform in the water sector of the country and also stressed the role of the projects labelled by the UfM in promoting peace and stability in the Mediterranean Region given that they encapsulate the endorsement by its 43 country members.

The project team presented the objectives and current status of the Governance & Financing for the Mediterranean Water Sector project focusing on the scope of the Palestinian Policy Dialogue and the technical work to be conducted in the country, whereas representatives from the PWA informed the audience on the ongoing reform process and the prospects for Private Sector Participation (PSP) in water and sanitation. A warm debate on governance obstacles relating to PSP in water and sanitation services succeeded the presentations, with participants taking the floor to share their insights on the theme.

The workshop marked the beginning of a Policy Dialogue that will allow building a common understanding and a shared consensus on the main obstacles to private sector involvement in Palestine’s water sector and identify concrete actions to overcome them. These actions will be based on best practices and internationally recognised tools and will be included in the analytical report to be developed by GWP-Med.

During its mission in Ramallah, the project team including the coordinator of the project at GWP-Med, Dr. Anthi Brouma and the Lead Expert for the work in Palestine, H.E. Koussai Quteishat, held a series of bilateral meetings back-to-back with the event with key stakeholders in order to discuss the launching of the National Policy Dialogue on governance and financing and attentively listen to their point of views on the theme from their perspective.

The next Consultation Workshop, aiming to convene a larger range of stakeholders, is scheduled for February 2015 and will promote further discussions on the findings of the technical work.

The National Policy Dialogue in Palestine is conducted by the Global Water Partnership- Mediterranean (GWP-Med) in collaboration with the Palestinian Water Authority (PWA) and within the framework of the UfM labelled project “Governance & Financing for the Mediterranean Water Sector” with the financial support of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and the GEF – UNEP/MAP MedPartnership programme.

The overall project “Governance & Financing for the Mediterranean Water Sector” has been designed by GWP-Med and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Strategic partnerships with the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), the FEMIP Trust Fund (FTF) of the European Investment Bank (EIB), the GEF – UNEP/MAP MedPartnership programme and the Mediterranean Component of the EU Water Initiative (MED EUWI) have been instrumental in setting the project in motion and under effective implementation.

Please find the workshop material below:

Photos of the workshop are available here

Please find below the link to PWA website referring to the workshop:

http://pwa.ps/ar_page.aspx?id=BfVTR8a1852111338aBfVTR8