The Finance and Budget Committee reviewed in its session on Monday the approved and unimplemented loans provided to Lebanon by the the World Bank.
The session was chaired by Head of the Committee MP Ibrahim Kenaan in the presence of Caretaker Minister of Finance Ghazi Wazni and the committee members.
After the session, Kenaan said the committee discussed the loans worth $959 million out of $1.6 billion dollars approved by the World Bank that are not implemented in Lebanon, and how to reallocate the loans that have not been implemented.
Kenaan said that the government should study the priorities to decide the projects that are necessary for the country currently, such as adding a $300 million loan for public transport to the loan which is worth $246 million.
Kenaan added: “There has been delay in implementing other loans, such as the project scheduled for Qaraoun Lake, since 2016, and implementation began this year.” He added that the World Bank has the right to cancel the projects that have been delayed by the government, but they showed their intention to review the projects and keep the loans without any need for signing a new contract. They asked they government to resolve this matter, because these loans will support Lebanon.
Kenaan said that the World Bank Director has said several times that Lebanon is one of the most important countries that they have dealt with. “Do we need to continue in this collapse or we want to restore the confidence that we have lost? This requires from the government real and efficient practices.”
Kenaan said that the committee will hold a series of meetings with the World Bank along with the concerned ministries that are witnessing delay in project implementation, in order to execute the infrastructure projects with the Council for Development and Reconstruction (CDR).”
Kenaan stressed that the committee will continue carrying its monitoring duties, and hoped the Caretaker Government will play its role, in order to benefit from the World Bank’s loans that can boost the country.
Kenaan stressed that “there a session will be held in the presence of the Deputy Prime Minister Zeina Akar, along with the Ministries of Social Affairs, Public Health, Education, Works and CDR, to restore the international confidence in Lebanon.