More EU aid for Lebanon’s faltering economy

6 Apr 18

The European Union has announced €150m to support of Lebanon’s economy, which it hopes will generate €1.5bn in loans for the country until 2020.

This comes as international donors met in Paris following the Lebanese prime minister’s call for international to cope with the impact of war in neighbouring Syria.

The EU package is part of the bloc’s longstanding commitment to the economic development of Lebanon.

The commission hopes it will general loans on condition that the country’s financial institutions identify and propose projects that are “bankable” and adopt relevant reforms, it said.

Federica Mogherini, high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, said: “With this new package, the European Union reconfirms its support to the Lebanese economy, for the benefit of the Lebanese people, and encourages the government of Lebanon to pursue the path of structural reforms it has started to undertake.”

The package was announced at a conference in Paris on Friday 6 April in support of Lebanon’s economy where France also pledged €550m in grants and loans.

In addition, the UK announced £40m in support for Lebanon. The country has to date committed over £2.36bn in humanitarian funding to the region, the Department for International Development said.

Lebanon is seeking investment in roads, power generation and public transport and hopes to attract $10bn (€8.14bn).

The Middle Eastern country also needs international support for its investment plan and to carry out reforms to tackle corruption and improve fiscal governance, the conference heard.

To date, the EU has allocated more than €1.3bn in aid to Lebanon since 2011, both for bilateral assistance and in response to the Syria crisis.

Since the war broke out seven years ago, more than 1 million refugees have fled to Lebanon from Syria and economic growth has collapsed to less than 1% a year, from an average of 8%.

 

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