On Wednesday, the Minister of Finance in Lebanon Ali Hassan Khalil and the Council for Development and Reconstruction signed a $404 million deal with the World Bank.
This amount will fund two sectors: education and transportation, thus, contributing to their development. The sum will be divided nearly in half:
- $200 million will fund a project concerning roads and transportation
- $204 million will finance an initiative called Education For All Children
The projects will benefit both Lebanese nationals and Syrian refugees. The $200 million that will support the rehabilitation of roads is partly a grant and partly a loan.
The grant is valued at $45.4 million, while the loan is $156.6 million which is repayable over a 31.5-year period. The latter got allocated from the World Bank’s Concessional Financing Facility which is funding Lebanon for the first time.
While some of us are using a payday company for short-term loans, the World Bank’s Concessional Financing Facility ensures that this facility funds the countries facing unusual social and economic challenges like the refugee crisis in Lebanon.
Through this deal, Khalil hopes to raise the level of education and improve the roads as well as transportation. Hafez Ghanem, the Vice President of the World Bank for the MENA region, said that these projects will work on increasing employment opportunities for Lebanese nationals and Syrian refugees.
The state of the infrastructure in Lebanon
The Lebanese Government and the World Bank are both reportedly working on improving the infrastructure. Economic growth is among their plans as well.
The infrastructure is the main focus of the Lebanese government since the number of people residing in Lebanon is growing and it cannot support that many people.
A few months ago, the Minister of Public Health Ghassan Hasbani gave the world a reality check about the Syrian refugee crisis in Lebanon in a panel discussion at the World Bank.
He mentioned that if the infrastructure will not be developed, Lebanon is going to face problems. In addition to that, he said that refugees in Lebanon constitute 30% to 40% of the population.
Khalil hopes that the relationship between the World Bank and Lebanon will contribute to finding strategic approaches and upgrading numerous Lebanese sectors.