BEIRUT

Lebanon News

World Bank chief in Lebanon for talks on ailing economy

Economy Minister Alain Hakim, left, receives Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank upon his arrival at Beirut airport, Monday, June 2, 2014. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)

BEIRUT: World Bank Group President Monday arrived in Lebanon where he is expected to hold talks with officials on the energy and education sectors as well as the impact of the Syrian crisis on the country's ailing economy.

Upon his arricval at the Rafik Hariri International Airport, Kim said his visit was the first by a World Bank president in 14 years.

He said the purpose of his trip was to discuss ways to meet the urgent needs of the country particularly in terms of reform in various sectors, encourage economic growth and plan long and short-term strategic plans.

Kim also noted that he would meet with officials from the Education Ministry to review the challenges and provide his view of the future in light of the so-called Arab Spring which he said represented an opportunity for advancement.

The World Bank is set to prepare a review of the Lebanese economy, its challenges and prospects for the future at the end of Kim's tour.

Economy Minister Alain Hakim who welcomed Kim to Lebanon at the airport said the visit was of utmost importance for Lebanon.

“There are two reasons for Kim’s visit: the first concerns the presence of Syrian refugees which has become a huge burden on Lebanon and the second is to draft a plan with the World Bank for the energy sector,” Hakim told reporters.

Before arriving to Lebanon, Kim warned that refugees in Lebanon and Jordan were putting extra strain on services such as water, electricity, waste disposal, primary education and health, while increasing competition for scarce jobs.

"The international community needs to step up its support to the Jordanian and Lebanese hosting communities," said Kim in the statement. "The people of these countries have demonstrated unprecedented generosity. They should not be left to shoulder this crisis alone."

"We estimated last summer that the impact of the crisis on Lebanon was $7.5 billion," Kim said late on Sunday in the Saudi city of Jeddah, which he visited in the first stop of a regional tour.

He said the conflict has had a "profound" impact on Lebanon and Jordan, which also hosts around 600,000 Syrian refugees.

 

Recommended

Advertisement

Comments

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

comments powered by Disqus
Summary

World Bank Group President Monday arrived in Lebanon where he is expected to hold talks with officials on the energy and education sectors as well as the impact of the Syrian crisis on the country's ailing economy.

Upon his arricval at the Rafik Hariri International Airport, Kim said his visit was the first by a World Bank president in 14 years.

The World Bank is set to prepare a review of the Lebanese economy, its challenges and prospects for the future at the end of Kim's tour.

Economy Minister Alain Hakim who welcomed Kim to Lebanon at the airport said the visit was of utmost importance for Lebanon.


Advertisement

FOLLOW THIS ARTICLE

Interested in knowing more about this story?

Click here