In its session on Thursday, December 14, the Parliament approved a law aimed at requesting approval to conclude the loan agreement signed with the European Investment Bank worth 151 million euros to contribute to financing the “Lebanon Roads and Employment Project” that aims at improving transport connectivity along select paved roads and create short term jobs for Lebanese and Syrians.
The World Bank approved the project in February 2017, with a total cost of $200 million, and the Lebanese Parliament approved it in 2018. Then, in 2021, the project was restructured so that the goal of supporting farmers was added to it, in response to the impact of the economic and financial crises on the agricultural sector and food security.
At first glance, the project may seem valuable, especially given Lebanon’s need for road maintenance and improved road emergency response. However, examining it more closely points to numerous problematics that must be highlighted, for the sake of accountability on how development priorities are determined in Lebanon, for which huge sums of money are allocated.