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Palestinians: Utilities

Volume 503: debated on Wednesday 6 January 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the answer of 30 November 2009, Official Report, column 436W, on Gaza: utilities, what remedial action his Department has taken to address the contamination of water supplies in Gaza; and what the Government’s policy is on the supply of clean water to Gaza. (307175)

The Department for International Development (DFID) is supporting a number of projects to increase the supply of clean water in Gaza. DFID is supporting the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in coordinating the international response on water and sanitation. We are also providing funding to Oxfam and Action Against Hunger to supply drinking water to vulnerable communities and carry out emergency rehabilitation of water infrastructure. Projects funded by DFID have helped improve access to water for over 335,000 people.

Restrictions placed on materials entering Gaza have limited the capacity to treat contaminated water or run desalination plants. We continue to lobby the Israeli Government to allow into Gaza the essential materials required to repair Gaza’s water and sanitation infrastructure.