International Initiative Addresses Water Crisis in Gaza

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Hundreds of thousands of schoolchildren to have access to clean water

January 10, 2022
RVF | Washington, DC USA | Gaza City, Gaza

GAZA CITY. Over 230,000 Gazan schoolchildren and their teachers will have access to safe water for drinking and handwashing thanks to an international initiative led by the U.S.-based Rostropovich-Vishnevskaya Foundation (RVF) with the support of a grant from the UAE Government. 125 UNRWA schools in Gaza will be equipped with desalination units and renewable electric power systems to provide drinking water and promote hygiene education. A formal agreement between RVF and UNRWA is currently under discussion, soon to be finalized.

The safe water initiative represents a crucial step in alleviating the water crisis in Gaza, where the groundwater from the sole aquifer has become unfit for human consumption. Even the poorest households must rely on bottled water and water that has been trucked in at great expense and risk of contamination. RVF is dedicated to supporting access to safe drinking water and good hygiene practices, which are crucial in combatting the COVID-19 pandemic.

RVF will implement the project in coordination with UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine refugees in the Near East, and local water authorities. Installation and maintenance of the imported state-of-the-art desalination units will be localized in Gaza to strengthen on-the-ground capacity.

Access to safe drinking water is a global public health priority. In the Gaza Strip, home to over 2 million people, there is an immediate need for potable water, especially in schools. While some schools currently have water filtration systems, the majority of schools lack safe drinking water and proper handwashing facilities.

Unlike mega desalination plants, low-volume desalination units can be set up quickly and provide immediate relief to the water crisis in Gaza. Each school will have its own desalination unit equipped with a solar power supply to avoid reliance on Gaza’s weak electric grid. RVF-led training of school staff and students to build good hygiene habits during the school day as well as at home will help prevent disease transmission, including COVID-19.

The project to provide safe water to schoolchildren in Gaza follows the UAE’s successful introduction of two essential children’s vaccines in Gaza and the West Bank implemented by RVF in partnership with the Palestinian Ministry of Health.

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Ms. Kiija Manty Miller
RVF Spokesperson
Tel: +1 202 296-5730

Dr. Fakhr Awwad
RVF Arabic Spokesperson
Mobile: +972 59-9932932

Background Information

RVF (Rostropovich-Vishnevskaya Foundation) promotes the health and wellbeing of children in need through sustainable, transformational public health programs in countries around the world. The non-profit development organization is based in Washington, D.C., with offices in Gaza and the West Bank, among other locations. Learn more about RVF by clicking below: