Press Release: ANERA Awarded Grant for West Bank Land Reclamation
Washington, DC – ANERA (American Near East Refugee Aid) is pleased to announce the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) has awarded it a $1 million grant in support of a project to use reclaimed water to irrigate farmland in the West Bank.
The project will use water from the wastewater treatment plant in Jenin, West Bank, to irrigate some 742 acres (3,000 dunums) of parched fields in the Jenin district. The first large scale water reuse project in the Palestinian territory, the project includes construction of reservoirs and water distribution networks to benefit some 240 farming families. ANERA will also introduce new fodder crop varieties, conduct training sessions and study tours and organize public awareness sessions to help build farming capacity.
The goal is to increase farming families income through revitalizing farmland and producing much-needed fodder for sheep and goats , replacing high priced imported feed.
Water scarcity is one of the biggest challenges facing farmers in the Middle East. In the West Bank and Gaza, only 10 percent of the cultivated land is irrigated, resulting in very low production and low incomes for farming families Communities often suffer disruptions in the water supply, forcing farmers to purchase water at high costs in order to irrigate their fields.
ANERA expects the three-year project will substantially increase income for 240 farm families. Another 12,000 more villagers will indirectly benefit from access to the cheaper crops. It will also reduce the use of drinking water resources for farming and decrease pollution from waste water runoff. The first phase of the program started in May, 2013
For more than 45 years, ANERA has been a leading provider of development, health, education and employment programs to Palestinian communities and impoverished families throughout the Middle East. In FY 2013, the relief and development agency delivered more than $65 million of programs to the people of the West Bank, Gaza, Lebanon and Jordan.
OFID is a multilateral development finance institution established in 1976 by OPEC members to reinforce financial cooperation between OPEC and other developing countries and provide financial support for their socio-economic development.