Bipartisan Bill Introduced for U.S., Israel to Jointly Develop Agriculture, Water Resources

Two lawmakers – Reps. Lois Frankel (D-Fla.) and Randy Weber (R-Texas) – have introduced a bipartisan bill in Congress to further development in the areas of agriculture, water resources, and energy-storage between the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Israel in developing countries, JNS reported Tuesday.

“For decades, America and Israel have provided international aid based on our shared values and cultures of innovation,” said Frankel. “This legislation would expand the reach of our important partnership and improve lives around the world.”

The United States-Israel International Development Cooperation Act would authorize $2 million each year for the fiscal years 2020-2024 to enhance partnerships in areas of energy storage, water resources, and agriculture.

“The shared desire of the United States and Israel to see others thrive is foundational to our partnership,” said Weber. “Developmental aid ultimately seeks to provide self-sustainability to countries as they develop into future global marketplace competitors. This legislation maximizes on our continued partnership as we seek to expand the reach and effectiveness of our aid.”

In a press release, the two lawmakers said that Israel and USAID are currently finalizing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to collaborate in various sectors, including education, environment, global health, and sanitation.

“Israel’s water technology is now being used in over 150 countries – including some that have no formal ties with the Jewish state,” TIP Senior Fellow Avi Jorisch explained in a 2018 interview with The Tower.

“For example,” Jorisch said, “IDE has built the largest desalinization plants in China and India. Amazing organizations like Innovation: Africa have brought Israeli water technology to remote African villages. And Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation have also proliferated Israeli water technological innovations around the developing world.”

Jorisch predicted “that in the coming decades the way people perceive Israel will change dramatically. I believe it will come to be seen as a fountain of knowledge when it comes to solving global challenges, including, of course, water.”

[Photo: Senate Democrats / Flickr ]