The Israeli Ministry of Economy has committed $500,000 to the World Bank Group’s Water Global Practice to enhance water knowledge in developing countries facing complex water security challenges.
The agreement will focus on sharing water expertise and industry best practices with developing counties and World Bank Group staff. It will include a number of activities, including study tours that will aim to transfer global knowledge on water security issues.
“We are proud to join the prestigious group of countries that contribute to the Bank. It is not that far back that Israel was a borrowing country from the Bank,” said the Israeli Minister of Economy, Mr. Aryeh Deri. “Israel has suffered from a chronic water shortage for years. The need for water led Israel to create innovative and advance policies and solutions that have placed us as a water world leader. We wish to share our experience with the developing world. We see this agreement as a first step that will allow us to launch our partnership with the WB and later to build on it and broaden it.”
Located in one of the driest regions in the world, Israel has been dealing with a continuous shortage of water which has worsen over the past few years due to prolonged droughts and an increasing population. To tackle the issue, Israel has developed innovative approaches in addressing this challenge.
“Israel has had to manage water services while operating under extreme scarcity conditions, and has done so very impressively,” said Jennifer Sara, Director for Water at the World Bank. “Its innovative practices are globally recognized – both from technological and institutional perspectives –and will undoubtedly carry lessons for many of the World Bank Group’s clients facing water security challenges.”
Under the agreement, study tours are expected to be held in Israel in the next two years and will include officials from developing countries, as well as World Bank Group staff. In addition, the agreement will include an analytical profile study of Israel’s experience in managing water and transferring of global expertise on water security.
Israel NewTech, the program for the advancement of Israel’s cleantech sector in the Ministry of Economy, played an instrumental role in the formation of the agreement. “Today more than ever the world is looking to Israel for technologies to address water shortages,” said Oded Distel, head of Israel NewTech. “From California to India, the industry is looking to Israel as the successful case study to addressing water scarcity. We feel it is our responsibility to share our knowledge with countries in the world facing challenges in the water arena.”
In the last 3 years (2011-2014) World Bank Group activities (IDA+IBRD) helped provide access to over 36 million people with access to improved water sources, and 10 million people with access to improved sanitation services. World Bank Group commitments to developing countries towards sustainable water and sanitation solutions stand to reach an average of 30 million people each year.
Israel is a member country since 1953 and holds 0.32 per cent of World Bank Group shares.
For the full press release click here.