Three civil society groups have filed a complaint with the World Bank’s Inspection Panel regarding the Bank’s studies for the Red Sea – Dead Sea Water Conveyance project that aims to divert water to the Dead Sea, which has been shrinking for years. The Requesters argue that the World Bank should be considering other alternatives which are less socially and environmentally harmful and that Palestinian civil society was not given the opportunity to participate adequately in the consultation process. Read the press release which was put out by the Requesters in July 2011.
In June 2010, the World Bank held its third set of public hearings with respect to the Red-Dead Sea conduit project. Friends of the Earth – Middle East attended the hearings and presented comments. This report comes from the FoEME website.
According to the World Bank, as part of the public consultation process under the Red Sea–Dead Sea Water Conveyance Study Program, the Beneficiary Parties (the Government of Israel, the Government of Jordan and the Palestinian Authority) plan to hold a series of meetings to update interested stakeholders on the progress under the Red Sea-Dead Sea Water Conveyance Study Program and seek their feedback.
After meeting with World Bank President, Robert Zoellick, Israel’s Deputy Prime Minister of Regional Development, Silvan Shalom, stated that the World Bank had agreed to fund the Red-Sea-Dead Sea Water Conveyance Program that involves Jordan, Palestine and Israel. However, Bank officials say that they have made no promises and that the project is still in the feasibility study phase.
Joint Israeli-Jordanian-Palestinian venture to see 112-mile pipeline built between Read Sea, Dead Sea. Project meant to explore desalination possibilities, raising Dead Sea declining water levels. Minister Shalom: Project staple of financial peace
Palestinians losing out in access to vital shared aquifer in the occupied territories
The World Bank continues to commission feasibility studies for the proposed Red/Dead Sea Canal, but environmental and political issues remain major issues.
The World Bank’s support for the $15.5 million feasibility studies continues to raise questions about the Bank’s application of its operational safeguard policies on the project.
Civil society in the Middle East demands that the Bank give full consideration to viable alternatives to the costly project.