WASHINGTON DC, February 19 2012 - Israeli Vice Prime Minister and Minister for Regional Development Silvan Shalom met late last week with senior World Bank officials to discuss a variety of topics.
The World Bank and Israel agreed to intensify cooperation with Jordan and the Palestinian Authority on the Red Sea-Dead Sea Water Conveyance Study Program, including completion of the remaining studies and public consultations in a timely manner. World Bank officials will be returning to the region next month to assist in this effort.
The Red Sea-Dead Sea Water Conveyance Study Program coordinated by the World Bank remains under preparation and all the draft studies will be subject to broad public consultation before any decisions are made about whether the idea to move water from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea could become a feasible project or even an experimental first stage.
Much of the study work is nearing completion and preliminary reports, draft and final studies, and information on the Study Program's consultation program are posted on the Study Program website, www.worldbank.org/rds. However, the Study Program is not yet complete and finalization of the work will be preceded by another round of public consultations in Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority. Current estimates are that the work will be completed in May 2012.
In 2008 the World Bank launched the Study Program based on terms of reference developed by Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority. These studies are examining relevant technical, economic, financial, environmental and social factors. When the Study Program is completed it will help inform further World Bank involvement, which would be subject to a request from the three parties.
Until then the World Bank remains committed to supporting the three parties on this important regional initiative.
Dale Lautenbach (Washington), +1-202-473-3405, firstname.lastname@example.org