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MRC and Israel join together to address the situation of the Mekong River

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The Mekong River Commission and Israel, represented by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Agency for International Development Cooperation, have inked a partnership that will see both parties face some of the Mekong River's difficulties.

On September 9, Israel's Ambassador to Vietnam, Nadav Eshcar, and Dr. An Pich Hatda, the MRC Secretariat's Chief Executive Officer, signed a five-year renewable Memorandum of Understanding in a virtual ceremony.


“The signing of the MOU is just another example of our prompt reaction to the difficulties we face now and tomorrow, particularly drought,” Dr. Hatda said, adding that the deal will help both the MRC and the Mekong region as a whole.


Both sides will endeavor to build institutional capacity and share technical experience, with a focus on drought management, agriculture, irrigation, and other areas vital to addressing the Mekong River's predicament, as part of the agreement. The MoU also includes a provision for courses, training sessions, and seminars based on Israel's expertise in managing precious water resources.


Climate change-related seasonal and daily flow patterns, as well as water being stored for regional electricity, have already had an impact on the Mekong's biodiversity. Droughts in 2019 and 2020 caused Mekong water levels to drop to historic lows. According to the MRC, severe droughts will become more often in the future.

During the signing event, Ambassador Eshcar spoke on Israel's expertise managing few water resources and how it relates to the current situation on the Mekong River.


“Unlike in the past, Israel's decades of experience are now extremely relevant in this region. In the spirit of friendship and solidarity with the region in general, and four Member Countries in particular, Israel desires to contribute to the MRC's efforts,” he stated.


The MoU is also important in leveraging Israel's knowledge for the improvement of the Mekong villages, according to Ambassador Eynat Shlein, Head of Israel's Agency for International Development Cooperation.


The signing ceremony was also attended by delegates from the Israeli Embassy in Thailand.

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