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Tala Ramadan 17 Apr 2020

World Bank Withdraws Funds For Bisri Dam, Redirecting Them To “Emerging Needs Of Lebanese People”

The World Bank has issued a statement on the controversial Bisri Dam project intended to increase water supply in Lebanon, asking the Lebanese government to launch a public and transparent dialogue to address the objections raised by citizens and civil society organizations.

Due to the controversial nature of the dam, the environmental damage it is expected to cause, and the alleged political ties the project is riding on, the World Bank then agreed to reallocate the sum of $ 45.5 million for two projects in Lebanon, namely the Health System Enhancement Project ($ 40 million) and the Small and Medium Enterprises Innovation Support Project ($ 5.5 million) in A way to enhance the Ministry of Public Health’s ability to test and treat suspected cases of COVID-19 and to provide immediate support to Lebanese companies or research centers to produce medical supplies, equipment, and services needed to combat COVID-19.

This comes after the National campaign to protect Bisri valley has described the dam as an “environmental ticking time-bomb” that will go off if no proper actions were taken.

This is a major win for those who were protesting the project, and environmental advocates.