the World Bank has urged the Lebanese government to implement its electricity plan to help reduce 0the country’s budget deficit. The National News Agency reported on Tuesday. “The electricity plan should be urgently implemented due to its forecasted positive impact on the economy,’’ Saroj Kumar Jha, World Bank’s regional director for the Middle East, told Lebanese Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil during a meeting.
The new plan to fix Lebanon’s weak electricity sector includes providing 24/7 electricity supply by 2020 and building six new power plants over the next six years.
Demand for electricity in Lebanon reached around 3,500 megawatts (MW) in 2018, far exceeding the supply at only 2,050 MW. The Lebanese electricity sector’s deficit, largely caused by the increase in fuel prices, ranged between 1.5-2 billion U.S. dollars in the past few years.
The new electricity plan is part of the conditions imposed by the CEDRE conference held in 2018 in Paris, France by donor countries to help Lebanon’s reconstruction. The donors at the conference vowed to provide Lebanon with 11 billion U.S. dollars in aid on condition that the country implements various structural reforms.