Palestine: World Bank aid to enhance energy sector operations

The World Bank has issued a $14 million grant to fund a phase of the Advancing Sustainability in Performance, Infrastructure, and Reliability of Energy Sector (ASPIRE) programme in Palestine.

The fund supports a $49 million grant secured from the Partnership for Infrastructure Development Multi-Donor Trust Fund (PID MDTF) to improve operational and financial performance of the country’s energy sector.

The project will also help Palestine to diversify its energy sources and is part of the World Bank’s Securing Energy for Development initiative.

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The grant will be leveraged to promote sustainable funding of energy projects and policy reform measures. 

New infrastructure and modernization of existing distribution and transmission lines to enhance the reliability of the grid will be the main focus during phase one.

This will facilitate better electricity interconnections with Israel and Jordan. Metering systems will be modernized to reduce non-technical losses.

The program ensures funding is directed to female-led solar energy projects in Gaza and West Bank and that women engineers and entrepreneurs through private sector participation in renewable energy are supported. 

“Power demand in West Bank is fast outpacing supply and Gaza is already facing severe challenges with electricity supply. This multiphase programmatic approach, new to the region, is a model of collaboration between the World Bank, the Palestinian authority and the donor partners to ensure more stable energy supplies while enabling transformation of the sector.” said Kanthan Shankar, World Bank Country Director for West Bank and Gaza.  

“In the Palestinian fragile context, the multi-phase program will offer the flexibility to adapt the course of actions to new emerging challenges and opportunities while aiming for a more stable and sustainable energy sector. Over eight-years, the program will enable the sector to strengthen its creditworthiness and attract private sector investment,” said Monali Ranade, World Bank Senior Energy Specialist.