Vice President Kamala Harris and Israeli President Isaac Herzog announced a new five-year joint initiative through which the Biden-Harris Administration, in collaboration with the U.S. Congress, and the State of Israel intend to invest 70 million dollars, including up to $35 million from the United States. United States and up to $35 million from Israel, over five years, to support climate-smart agriculture through innovative technologies and improved capture, storage, use and protection of critical water resources in the Middle -East and Africa. This investment in innovative solutions for sustainable food production and water use strengthens existing cooperation between our two countries and will help build resilient food systems and address the climate crisis around the world. The United States and Israel are leaders in developing low- and high-tech climate-smart agriculture and water management, and this new joint initiative will strengthen our cooperation in these critical areas while also contributing to the foreign policy objectives of both countries. This cooperation builds on the high-level U.S.-Israel strategic dialogue on technology, leverages the expertise of U.S. and Israeli research and academic institutions, and demonstrates the remarkable value of the U.S.-Israel relationship in facilitating investments in technology that improve lives and livelihoods. populations across the world. Impact programming options will potentially include employing these technologies alongside partners, such as Negev Forum and I2U2 participants, scaling existing technologies or techniques, expanding access to certain technological tools or applications and/or investment in training, technical assistance and education. .
Additional ongoing cooperation:
The United States and Israel already have strong cooperation on a range of scientific initiatives related to technology, the environment, food security and health.
Negev Forum working groups:Negev Forum members Bahrain, Egypt, Israel, Morocco, the United Arab Emirates and the United States believe that working together offers the best chance of solving some of the world’s most pressing problems, particularly in fields of science and technology. The Food Safety and Water Technology Working Group promotes projects that leverage existing methods and technologies and develop new approaches to improve food safety and water technology. The Clean Energy Task Force advances the implementation of clean energy projects, shares best practices, and develops policies that promote and unlock the region’s clean energy potential. Other initiatives aimed at promoting regional solutions include the Prosperity Project, through which Israel, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates are working together to send desalinated water from Israel to Jordan and clean energy from Jordan to Israel . The United States remains committed to helping the parties bring this project to fruition.
I2U2: This grouping of countries (United States, India, Israel and United Arab Emirates) harnesses a collective spirit of entrepreneurship to address common challenges, with a particular emphasis on participation and joint initiatives in the areas of water, energy, transport, space, technology and health. , and food security, while advancing Israel’s global integration.
US-Israel High-Level Strategic Dialogue on Technology: In September 2022, the United States and Israel launched a forum to deepen bilateral collaboration on critical and emerging technologies in working groups on climate change, pandemic preparedness, artificial intelligence, and technology ecosystems reliable.
Joint research and exchange programs: The United States and Israel coordinate scientific and cultural exchanges through the Binational Science Foundation (BSF), the Binational Foundation for Industrial Research and Development (BIRD), the Binational Research and Development Fund (BARD) and the American-Israeli Educational Foundation. To facilitate economic cooperation, the two countries convene a joint economic development group annually to discuss our economic partnership and possible initiatives for the coming year.
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the reuse of treated water:The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Israeli Ministry of Environmental Protection have a strong partnership, including a memorandum of understanding on the reuse of treated water. About 50 U.S. water experts visited Israel last year to exchange best practices and learn lessons on water management.
Middle East Regional Cooperation Program (MERC):The USAID MERC program was established in 1981 to facilitate research collaboration between Egyptian and Israeli scientists following the signing of the Peace Treaty between Israel and Egypt. Today, MERC promotes scientific cooperation, technology-driven development and capacity building between partners in Israel and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region through grants that support applied research and regional workshops on scientific topics. MERC’s current portfolio of more than 40 active grants covers topics such as climate-resilient agriculture, water resources management, public health, and environmental and marine conservation. MERC focuses on training, outreach and dissemination of research findings to support and inform sustainable resource management, economic growth and policymaking in the Middle East and North Africa.
USAID-MASHAV cooperation:In 2019, USAID and MASHAV, Israel’s development agency, signed a global memorandum of understanding for development cooperation. Since then, USAID and MASHAV have collaborated trilaterally with countries in Europe, Central America, the Middle East and Africa, in sectors such as water technology, agriculture and education. Notable partnerships include:
- In 2019, USAID Power Africa and the Israeli government signed a memorandum of understanding to combat energy poverty and expand energy access, for which Israel committed to financing 300 megawatts of generation projects electricity in sub-Saharan Africa through its private sector. The renewal of this Power Africa agreement is currently under discussion.
- In 2020, Israel and the USAID/Georgia mission signed a memorandum of understanding to strengthen agriculture and demonstration. USAID and NEMA, Israel’s disaster response agency, are working to establish a memorandum of understanding to facilitate the sharing of expertise and best practices in disaster response and preparedness. emergency situations.
- In December 2020, Congress appropriated $2 million in economic support funds for fiscal year 2021 to fund cooperative projects among the United States, Israel, and partner countries that identify and support local solutions to address sustainability challenges related to water resources, agriculture, and energy storage, which USAID has programmed for northern Central America, Albania and the MERC program. In northern Central America, cooperation has focused on climate adaptation activities through work in the agriculture, water and energy sectors. In Albania, USAID and Israel are cooperating in the smart agriculture sector for high value-added agricultural production. In addition to its ongoing programming, MERC used $1 million in FY 2021 funds to launch a special call for proposals on climate change adaptation and mitigation that was announced at COP27 in Egypt. Congress also supported trilateral cooperation projects between the United States, Israel, and partner countries in fiscal year 2022. USAID is working closely with Israel to develop program options.