WB urges Lebanon to resolve political standoff for aid

BEIRUT, March 25 (KUNA) — World Bank (WB) President Jim Yong Kim has urged the Lebanese politicians to swiftly resolve the country’s political deadlock to make streamline the way for aid from the bank.
Jim made his call during a tour on Friday with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, chief of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Ahmad Mohammad Ali Madani of the Syrian refugees’ camps in Behnin village.
They were accompanied by representatives from the UNRWA, the UNICEF, the Ministry of Public Health and the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Social Affairs.
So far, the WB has provided USD 900 million in a first stage to help the refugees and the Lebanese society, Jim added.
He underscored the heavy burden Lebanon is shouldering on all levels as a result of the flow of refugees.
Lebanon’s population has increased by more than 25 percent, a rise that “critically affected the weak infrastructure and the social fabric of the country as well as the municipalities’ ability to provide good public services.” Meanwhile, the WB chief Yong Kim announced that the bank’s board has decided to allocate a USD 00 million to the education sector in Lebanon.
“This fund will be specifically assigned to establishing and improving schools for students whose ages range between 5 and 17 years old, and to secure that all the displaced Syrian children are attending schools,” he noted.
For his part, IDB’s Madani said that a joint mission from the IDB and the WB would visit Lebanon over the coming few weeks to identify some of the needs of the northern region.
The delegation was acquainted with conditions of refugees and Lebanese families in the area, who are classified under poverty line.
On Thursday, the IDB and Lebanon signed five agreements worth USD 373 million, to finance water, sewage and road projects in the country. (end) ayb.msa