After partial suspension in July, World Bank completely stops the funds for Lebanon’s Bisri dam project
The World Bank confirmed on Friday that it has canceled a loan of $244 million for Lebanon’s Bisri dam after raising concerns in January about the project. Bank has notified the decision to the Lebanese government which is effective immediately.
As per the statement given by the World Bank, it was revealed that despite emphasizing on open, transparent and inclusive conduct of the project, teh same was not delivered by the Lebanese government. Funding for the dam project was halted on June 26 but only partially as the World Bank was concerned about the progress of the project.
The project was first highlighted in 2015 when a alot environmental activists objected to the construction of a $617 million (total cost)dam. But those objections led nowhere and now when Beirut saw a massive blast that killed more than 190 people and injured iver 6,000 people in the capital city of Lebanon.
For the project, the World Bank had already committed $474 million for the project of which $244 million was still left to be released. The Bank has given warning to the Lebanese authorities wanting to know about the progress of the project and July 22 was decided as the deadline for it but later on it got extended due to the coronavirus pandemic and September 4 was made the new deadline. The authorities failed to produce a progress report for the extended date also which led to the World Bank to cancel the funding.
The Bank further clarified that not only did the authorities not produce the progress report but they also did not come up with a compensation plan for the ecological damage that the project would have done. Even the contractor was not mobilised for the construction project. However, the World Bank cleared its stance keeping possibilities of helping people suffering after Beirut blast through loans including the undisbursed amount.
Lebanon is in a deep state of crisis where the economy has fallen, the country is under great debt, administration has either failed or left and people are on roads asking for help. Though many nations have helped Lebanon after the blast but there are a lot internal factors involved for the state in which the country is including the militia groups.