Belhaj on Electricity Crisis in Lebanon: It’s Unbelievable
World Bank Vice President for the Middle East and North Africa Ferid Belhaj said what is happening with Lebanon’s electricity sector was “unbelievable,” noting that fundamental reforms must be introduced to reduce burden on the country’s Treasury, al-Joumhouria daily reported on Saturday.
In remarks he made to the daily, Belhaj said: “What is happening with the electricity sector in Lebanon is unbelievable. The Treasury bears losses of two billion dollars a year so far with no solutions to this crisis.”
His remarks came in response to questions posed during a meeting with a group of local and foreign media at the headquarters of the World Bank in Beirut, after the end of his day tour to the Lebanese officials.
Belhaj had met with President Michel Aoun, Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri and the world's business community.
He stressed during his meetings on the need for Lebanon to make fundamental and serious reforms, especially in the electricity sector in addition to combating corruption.
In light of disagreement among political parties over the means to tackle the longtime electricity crisis, Lebanon has been for decades plagued with power rationing.
During his meeting with Aoun, Belhaj affirmed the World Bank's support for Lebanon and the efforts of the President to achieve reform at all levels, mainly the financial file.
Belhaj had put the World Bank's potential in Lebanon's disposal in all areas, setting priorities according to the reforms adopted at the Cedre Support Conference for Lebanon, which were considered comprehensive and necessary at this stage.