RAMALLAH, Wednesday, August 2, 2023 (WAFA) – In the event of a global wheat crisis and to ensure food security in Palestine, the government signed today an agreement to establish wheat storage silos with a capacity of 80,000 tons of wheat as a first stage in the West Bank to be followed by the second phase in the Gaza Strip.
The agreement was signed at the Ministry of National Economy in Ramallah between the government and Palestine Wheat Silos Company under the auspices and in the presence of Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh and representatives of the public and private sectors, the European Investment Bank, the World Food Program and a number of donor countries.
The company will start constructing the two silos in the governorates of Hebron, and Ramallah and al-Bireh in the West Bank to be completed within two years.
Commending the project to build the silos, Prime Minister Shtayyeh said: "The issue of storing wheat has become a priority for us due to the Corona pandemic and the crisis in Ukraine, which cut off delivery and supply routes. It is at the heart of the Palestinian national strategy in the gradual disengagement from the occupying state, and strengthening our production and storage capacity.”
He said that the construction of wheat silos is fully funded by the Palestinian private sector, stressing that the first phase will be in the West Bank and the second in the Gaza Strip, as work on this project will be completed within 24 months.
Shtayyeh stressed that partnership with the private sector is important in light of the decline in foreign aid and support.
"Our national economy is healthy, but there is a deficit in the public treasury as a result of the unfair and illegal Israeli deductions from our funds and the decline in external support,” he said.
Minister of Economy Khaled Osaily, who signed the agreement on behalf of the government, said the silos project is a true reflection of the strategic partnership between the government and the private sector since the private sector is the backbone of the national economy and the main engine of the development process.
“We sign the contract for the construction of silos less than a year after the government’s decision to establish silos,” he said, adding that “the project will constitute a strategic reserve for a period of three months in the event of a global crisis that causes the supply chains to stop, which will contribute to strengthening Palestinian food security.”