STA, 8 January 2019 - Slovenia transferred half a million euro to the European Investment Bank trust fund at the end of last year to co-fund the construction of a desalination facility in the Gaza Strip, the Foreign Ministry said on its website on Tuesday. The EUR 562.3m facility will provide drinking water to more than two million people.
Slovenia announced it would donate the money for the desalination facility at a donor conference in Brussels last March.
The European Commission allocated EUR 70m for the project, while other EU countries will also contribute funds.
Slovenia sees access to drinking water as a means to achieve peace and prosperity and has the right to drinking water enshrined in its Constitution, the ministry says on its website.
By allocating money to the project, Slovenia will contribute to the implementation of the right to drinking water of the locals and help prevent a humanitarian and ecological disaster, it adds.
The desalination facility will also significantly contribute to the safety and development opportunities of Gaza, according to the ministry.
Access to drinking water in the Gaza Strip is among the worst in the world. More than two million people in Gaza depend on water from a coastal aquifer, with only 3% of it considered to be safe for drinking by the WHO.
Numerous studies have shown that the aquifer is being overused. They warn of the danger of a humanitarian and ecological disaster in this decade and call for radical measures.
Slovenia regularly supports humanitarian activities to help Palestinians. Last March, it committed to donating EUR 165,000 between 2018 and 2020 for helping and employing Palestinian refugees in the Middle East. The first part of the funds has already been paid out.
The country also supports bilateral projects providing aid to Palestinian children and trains experts offering help to Gaza people through its fund ITF Enhancing Human Security.