ISRAEL has donated a mobile desalination unit to Papua New Guinea to help it respond to the El Niño weather phenomenon.

According to an announcement from Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the donation was made at the personal request of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, due in part to solid relations between the leaders of the two nations.

Designed to help provide clean drinking water in remote rural locations, the unit was donated by the Israeli government and its manufacturer, Israeli company G.A.L. Water Technologies.

The Galmobile is a self-contained independent and automatic unit which can connect to any water source (rivers, lakes, oceans, brackish water, wells, high turbidity water) and produce drinking water that meets the standards of the World Health Organisation.

In addition to humanitarian aid, Israel, via MASHAV (Israel’s Agency for Development Cooperation), is providing consultation services to PNG in seed production as well as establishing a professional training system for teens and young adults.

The El Niño phenomenon has caused a severe drought across PNG and destroyed crops and other food stocks.

Israel and PNG have maintained diplomatic relations since 1978, with a cooperation agreement between the two states signed in 1989.

PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill visited Israel with a delegation of senior officials in 2013 at Mr Netanyahu’s invitation.