Jordan raises $400 million for water transfer project
Jordan announced on Saturday that it had raised another $400 million of the $1.1bn needed to build the first phase of its Red Sea to Dead Sea water transfer pipeline.
The project aims to pump water from the Red Sea into the Dead Sea in order to save the Dead Sea from destruction, as its water level is currently shrinking by around a metre a year.
"In addition to the already raised funds, several other donor countries and international agencies and institutions showed interest in this mega water project and revealed that they are studying the possibility and the mechanism of financing it," an unnamed official at the Ministry of Water told The Jordan Times.
The funds were gathered at a conference held on Thursday at a location near the Dead Sea in Jordan.
The “Dead-Red” project was first tabled by the World Bank in 2013 and started to accelerate once a historic agreement between Jordan and Israel was reached in 2015.
Israel’s water minister, Silvan Shalom, called the deal “the most significant agreement since the peace treaty with Jordan”.
Construction on the project’s first phase is scheduled to start in early 2018 and is expected to take up to three years to build.
Five contractors have been short-listed for its construction.
The US government alone has pledged $100 million to the project, saying that it is committed to preserving the water supply for the desert region.