World Bank Funds Palestinian Energy and IT Sectors

Ramallah, MINA – The World Bank and the Palestinian Authority on Tuesday signed a grant agreement to finance the energy and information technology sector worth $ 78 million (Rp1.1 trillion) to finance projects in the energy sector.

The contents of the agreement include building a network between Jericho, east of the West Bank and Ramallah, to transfer electricity imported from Jordan to the central West Bank.

The agreement was signed by the Palestinian Minister of Finance, Shukri Bishara, and the World Bank Resident Representative in the Palestinian Territory Kanthan Shankar, in the presence of Prime Minister Ramallah Muhammad Shtayeh, Quds Press reported.

The first agreement includes a project to develop performance and reliable infrastructure for the energy sector, with a value of $ 63 million, funded by the World Bank, Norway, the European Union and the United Kingdom.

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The second agreement includes an information technology project to support the digital economy, funded by the World Bank, with a value of $ 15 million.

Prime Minister Shtayeh said, “Today we signed two very important agreements. The first agreement will benefit the Palestinian Energy Authority and the Palestinian Transportation Company, because the draft agreement includes building a transmission line from Jericho to Ramallah to facilitate the import of electricity from Jordan to Palestine. ”

He added, the agreement also included the rehabilitation of 4 power plants in Jenin, Nablus (north), Ramallah (center) and Hebron (south), and the construction of 5 new stations, in addition to developing networks in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

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Shtayeh pointed out that the World Bank grant would also include support for the construction of solar energy projects in public buildings, such as hospitals, schools and ministries, and this would provide $ 20 million in loan guarantees to investors in renewable energy from the private sector.

The Palestinian Authority imports about 90 percent of its electricity, totaling around 1500 megawatts, from the Israeli occupation.

Earlier, on January, the Palestinian Authority signed an agreement with Jordan to increase energy imported from the Jordanian network, from 26 megawatts which only included Governor Jericho, to 80 megawatts to cover part of the needs of governors in the central West Bank.

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“The second agreement is equally important, because the IT project will create 1,000 jobs, 50 percent of which will be for women. It will also create 750 training opportunities, 50 percent of which will be for women too,” Shtayeh added.

He indicated that the project included elements relating to supporting 200 Palestinian companies working in the field of information technology, owned by the Palestinian private sector, and would create networks between Palestinian and international companies, with contracts valued at around $ 30 million . (T/R7/P2)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)