WASHINGTON: The World Bank is helping Lebanon prepare the ground to request an influx of international aid to offset the high costs of the spillover from the Syrian war, President Jim Yong Kim told the Associated Press.
Kim said in an interview late Tuesday that Beirut asked the World Bank to take the lead in preparing a quick assessment of the socioeconomic impact of the war in Syria, to be presented during a Sept. 25 meeting of an international support group for Lebanon at the United Nations General Assembly.
Kim said the bank made a “very intensive effort” to finish the assessment in a few weeks, something that normally would take six to nine months.
Lebanon is hoping the World Bank’s stamp on the analysis will underpin its request for aid from individual donor countries as well as international agencies. It will look at the Syrian conflict’s enormous strains on Lebanese tourism, trade, health, education and on ordinary citizens.
“We have been preparing the path so that the global community can support Lebanon,” Kim said, adding that he hopes funds will begin to flow once the assessment is presented at the U.N.
The bank is looking for partners to provide grants to alleviate some of the strain on the economy, budget and infrastructure of the country, which is hosting more than 720,000 registered refugees.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on September 05, 2013, on page 3.