World Bank Regional Director Saroj Kumar Jha said that the Bank was awaiting the government’s reform program to decide on the means to help the Lebanese people.
During a meeting between a World Bank delegation and Finance Minister Ghazi Wazni on Friday, Kumar Jha underlined the need for an ambitious program and serious steps within a specified deadline.
The official stressed that the Bank was committed to helping Lebanon create better job opportunities for its people and fund projects in the health, education and electricity sectors.
“The Lebanese government should provide an ambitious reform program that begins with addressing financial and banking issues, in addition to infrastructure, especially the electricity sector. However, there are also other sectors that need immediate attention,” Kumar Jha told reporters after the meeting.
“Lebanon can overcome this crisis, but that requires strong political will and a time-bound action plan, and this is what the World Bank expects from this new government,” he stressed.
The number of people below the poverty line has increased dramatically, Kumar said, citing the World Bank,
“So we are all waiting for the government’s reform program and, accordingly, the World Bank will determine how it can fully support the Lebanese people,” noted.
The official revealed that the World Bank has a $1.6 billion program designed for Lebanon to improve its infrastructure, create jobs, provide social protection, and develop the water sector.
Lebanon faces unparalleled challenges, Kumar Jha said, adding that : “We must all be optimistic, and we must all unite to give hope to the people of Lebanon.”