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World Bank loan to fight Qaraoun pollution
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The World Bank Group (WBG) has approved a $55 million loan to help reduce the pollution flowing into Qaraoun Lake.

“The project marks a first step in a larger effort estimated at $250 million, according to the Government’s business plan for combating pollution of Qaraoun Lake,” the World Bank WBG said in a statement.

In a larger initiative, the WBG rolled out the Country Partnership Framework (CPF) with Lebanon, a program that spans the years 2017 to 2022.

“The CPF aims at mitigating the immediate impact of the Syria crisis while keeping a strong focus on the country’s medium- and long- term development challenges,” said Ferid Belhaj, Director of the World Bank’s Middle East Department.

The Framework will help develop the country’s infrastructure including water supply services, public transportation, health services, education services, as well as on-the-job training and private-sector-led job growth. It also aims to expand access to finance and to improve the private investment environment. The WBG said it “will also be piloting initiatives to broaden access to financial services, including the poor and refugees.”

The country’s demand for WBG financing and associated grants is expected to reach $1.1 billion, for the first two to three years of the CPF. This includes an exceptional allocation of $100 million from the International Development Association (IDA) and $135 million in grant financing for education.

The WBG said: “The program under this CPF is well defined for the first two years of implementation, but has been left open in later years to allow for flexibility in responding to the emerging priorities and evolving market conditions.”

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), which is part of the WBG, will address the local private sector in order to boost employment opportunities. “Over the next six years we plan to support Lebanon’s private sector to become more competitive and expand into other markets in the region and beyond,” said Mouayed Makhlouf, IFC Director for the Middle East and North Africa.
Reported by Shikrallah Nakhoul
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Date Posted: Jul 21, 2016