The power outage in Lebanon is not just a symptom of the crises that the country is experiencing, but rather one of its causes.
According to the World Bank, nearly half of the public debt, or about $40 billion, are allocated to the electricity sector, and Electricité du Liban (EDL) has put burdens on the state treasury for years . Despite the huge amounts being spent, Lebanon still suffers from power cuts for long periods, while some areas are experiencing complete power cuts.
The Caretaker Minister of Energy and Water Raymond Ghajar said in a press conference at Rafik Hariri International Airport, after his return from Iraq, that “EDL is striving to prolong the provision of power, and will rely on the fuel delivered from Iraq.” He added: “If we receive another offer from other country, we will study whether it is worth it or not.” Ghajar said that the country will provide Iraq with alternative services instead of paying cash money for the fuel. He also remembered Lebanese about darkness and called for a treasury advance.
Ghajar said that the quantities delivered from Iraq are not sufficient, that’s why the treasury advance is required!
The behavior of the Minister of Energy and his political party is really weird, as they insist on eliminating the last penny of the depositors. This means money squandering will continue, and that projects will not be approved without deals and commissions.
There is no doubt that the deteriorating economic situation in Lebanon is impacting all sectors negatively, including the electricity sector. The latter forms more than third of the country’s public debt, which recently exceeded $44 billion, and is considered the main reason behind the treasury’s deficit. This sector is in dire need for development, however, it takes the path of theft and squandering, and renting power ships instead of establishing local power plants.
Your Excellency, how can we survive in Lebanon without electricity? How can the country witness growth, the economy rebound, and investors to come to Lebanon without electricity?
The Free Patriotic Movement and the successive ministers have wasted more than two decades on the debate over increasing the production capacity of power. However, we have reached today to a point where there aren’t any new investment in power plants.