World Bank Lebanon Financing Facility Just Allocated $55-Million Recovery Program

The World-Bank-funded Lebanon Health Resilience Project (LHRC) will extend support for lifesaving drugs
Simone D. McCourtie/World Bank

The World Bank has endorsed the allocation of $55 million for a work plan to support socio-economic relief efforts in Lebanon.

In a press release on Friday, the World Bank said that it had endorsed the allocation during a meeting of the Partnership Council of the Lebanese Financing Facility (LFF) on Thursday.

The LFF is a 5-year multi-donor trust fund established in December 2020 in the wake of the August 4th Beirut explosion. It aims at supporting the immediate socio-economic recovery of vulnerable people and businesses affected by the explosion.

The Thursday meeting involved discussions about the LFF’s first year of operation, including priority projects and proposed funding allocations, the World Bank said.

The meeting included representatives of the Lebanese government and LFF donor members (Canada, Denmark, the European Union, France, and Germany).

It was also attended by representatives of civil society organizations of the Reform, Recovery, and Reconstruction Framework (3RF) Consultative Group, which is a people-centered part of the comprehensive response to the Beirut Port explosion.

“The Partnership Council’s endorsement of the LFF annual work plan is an important milestone, yet it is not sufficient given the deliberate human and economic crisis in Lebanon,” the World Bank stated.

“Only a credible and reform-minded government can help address the longstanding challenges and structural problems facing Lebanon and restore citizens trust and confidence,” it noted.

Nonetheless, the meeting represents the first step toward the implementation of projects that will provide people in Lebanon with immediate socio-economic relief and give micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) the opportunity to begin their journey toward recovery.

The approved plan focuses on 4 primary recovery projects:

  1. Supporting the immediate recovery needs of people impacted by the explosion, focusing on issues such as gender-based violence, psychosocial support, and care for disabled and elderly individuals.
  2. Boosting environmental recovery and waste management to clear dangerous materials from the Beirut Port and its vicinity.
  3. Supporting the rehabilitation of heritage buildings and providing households affected by the blast with sustainable housing solutions.
  4. Supporting the recovery of MSMEs and helping sustain the operations of eligible microfinance institutions.

It also comprises various governance activities that outline a roadmap for Lebanon’s port sector reform, in addition to activities that would allow establishing an independent, civil-society-led oversight board, thus operationalizing the 3RF.

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