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Arab League secures int'l funding for water management projects

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CAIRO, Jan 16 (KUNA) -- The Arab League has managed to attract necessary international funding for the water management projects in the Arab region envisaged in the integrated strategy for the water security, a senior official said here on Monday.

The strategy, adopted by the Arab League's Economic and Social Council (ESC) in September, 2011, will be tabled to the coming Arab summit, due in Baghdad, in late March, 2012, for final endorsement," said official of the technical secretariat of the Arab Water Ministers Council Dr. Jamal Jaballah.

He made the press remarks on the sidelines of the senior-level meeting of water resources officials and fifth meeting of the advisory technical committee of the ministerial council. "The integrated water governance projects fall in the framework of the resolutions of the First Arab Economic, Social and Development Summit in Kuwait in January, 2009," he said. "The ongoing meetings follow up the results of Kuwait summit and review the progress made in luring financing for the water projects," Dr. Jaballah disclosed.

The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development (AFESD) agreed to finance several projects including one on water uses in the agricultural sector.
The European Union has set aside six million euros for the integrated water management projects in the Arab countries.

In Addition, Germany, represented by the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) pledged 7.5 million euros for an project to curb the climate change impact on the water resources, Dr. Jaballah said.

The GIZ-funded project will be implemented in four southeast Mediterranean countries, namely Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria over the coming six years, he went on.

The Swedish water institute allocated 3.5 million euros for launching a database on the water resources and the impacts of the climate change in the Arab region in collaboration with the Arab Center for the Studies of Arid Zones and Dry Lands (ACSAD) and the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA).

The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development pledged USD half a million for the water governance projects, he added.

Dr. Jaballah noted that the ongoing meetings also coordinate the Arab stances on, and the participation in, the Sixth World Water Forum, due to open in Marseille, France, on June 12, 2012.

He condemned the Israeli occupation authorities for stealing the water resources of the occupied Syrian Golan Heights, south Lebanon and the Palestinian territories.

The Arab countries are lobbying for an international conference, to be hosted by the League under auspices of its Secretary General Nabil Al-Araby on the Israeli illegitimate practices.

The IDB promised to offer USD 50,000 for the planned conference, he added.

The outcome of the ongoing meetings will be tabled to the meeting of Executive Office of the Arab Water Ministers Council, due here on Wednesday. (end) KUNA 162121 Jan 12NNNN

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