The World Bank announced a new $10 million grant that will help Lebanon focus on the environmental and health impacts caused by the Beirut port explosion on the people of Beirut and support the development of a plan for a more green reconstruction.
According to the prepared Rapid Damage and Needs Assessment, the damages in the environment sector were assessed at $20 to 25 million, and the recovery was estimated at $75 to $100 million.
The organization explained that “the explosion caused severe environmental impacts from resulting huge quantities of waste streams, including hazardous and electronic waste and debris. It also caused significant damage to municipal solid waste management infrastructure; pollution of the marine ecosystem around the explosion site.”
Saroj Kumar Jha, World Bank Mashreq Regional Director, announced the launching of “the fourth LFF financed project, after three other projects that address the recovery needs of micro- and small-enterprises […].”
He explained that “this project will implement environment recovery activities in Beirut to mitigate risks of a solid waste crisis and other environmental impacts which resulted from the Port of Beirut explosion,”
The Beirut Critical Environment Recovery, Restoration, and Waste Management Program will help manage the health-impacting asbestos minerals brought by demolition waste, rehabilitate solid waste infrastructure, and provide assistance for sustainable operation.
The project will also rehabilitate two damaged solid waste facilities, namely the Karantina solid waste sorting facility and Coral composting facility, and support the improvement of waste management in areas hit by the explosion.
“Addressing the impacts of the port explosion on the environment and people’s health is of the utmost importance,” stressed Melanie Hauenstein, UNDP Resident Representative.