As part of the 1st Dutch-Palestinian cooperation forum, 5 Dutch and 5 Palestinian universities signed a Memorandum of Understanding for an academic cooperation programme on joint education, research and training to improve the capacity in the Palestinian water sector.

The forum took place on 7 and 8 December as part of the Dutch trade mission to Palestine. The mission was led by Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte (left on top photo) who was accompanied by the Dutch ministers Frans Timmermans of Foreign Affairs and Lilianne Ploumen of International Development.

The opening session of the forum was attended by Palestinian prime minister Rami Hamdallah (second from the right).

dws-rutte-palestine-water-west-bank-family-cistern-350pxStronger Palestinian economy
In his opening speech Dutch Prime Minister Rutte mentioned the academic water programme as an example of the kind of cooperation his government seeks with Palestine.

"It is not only about money. The Dutch government firmly believes that prosperity, peace and security all feed into one another. The stronger the economy, the more people have the prospect of a successful future, for themselves and their children. And the bigger the chance of a peaceful solution to the serious problems which, sadly, the Palestinian people still face", said Rutte.

Dutch-Palestinian academic cooperation programme on water
Over a four-year period (2014-2017), the universities will carry out activities in applied research/product development, education and professional training. The programme aims at finding, testing, improving and developing innovative solutions to increase water availability, sanitation services and food security in Palestine.

Ten participating universities
Participating in the programme are:
● Maastricht School of Management (programme lead), Maastricht
● Universiteit Twente, Enschede
● Wageningen University UR, Wageningen
● UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, Delft
● Technische Universiteit Delft, Delft  
● Birzeit University, Birzeit
● Al Quds University, Jeruzalem
● Palestinian Technical University Kadoorie, Tulkarm
● An Najah University, Nablus
● Palestinian Polytechnic University, Hebron

The consortium is supported by the General Delegation of Palestine in the Hague, Palestinian Water Authority, Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture, Palestinian Ministry of Higher Education, Netherlands Representative Office in Ramallah, Netherlands Water Partnership and AgentschapNL.  

Top photo: Assaf Shilo, photo published on Flickr account 'Minister-president Rutte'

More information
Maastricht School of Management
Maastricht, the Netherlands
+31 43 38 70 808