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Al-Bader: Kuwait Fund re-allocates USD 30 million to support Lebanon
Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) announced readiness to support Lebanon in facing repercussions of the devastating explosion that struck Beirut Port on August 4th.
The Fund will re-allocate prior-commitments, worth USD 30 million, to back projects that are to be implemented in coordination with Lebanese officials, said KFAED's Director-General Abdulwahab Al-Bader.
"Contacts are ongoing with Lebanese officials, following His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Sabah's speech at the International Conference on Support to Beirut and the Lebanese People, to layout a mechanism for vital projects that meet the needs of Lebanese people," said Al-Bader.
He added that a proper decision would be taken for any project of significance, noting that the Port of Beirut Grain Silo Project, built in 1970 as per agreement between KFAED and Lebanon, is among the planned projects.
"Upon sealing the deal with the Lebanese side, all prior commitments, worth USD 30 million, that have not been used in past years, would be re-allocated and rescheduled in favor of new projects," indicated the KFAED chief.
"The Grain Silo Project makes up a major portion of food security in Lebanon, particularly in grain and wheat preservation and production," Al-Bader said, noting it has a high storage capacity of 145,000 tons, as well as a capacity to cover 85 percent of the people's needs.
Al-Bader also mentioned the Fund's expertise in dealing with such catastrophic events, gained through long years of funding and granting loans for development projects to assist people around the world, which is also based on Kuwait's intranational humanitarian initiatives.
According to KFAED's policy, the Fund's officials are tasked with supervising any project before implementation through conducting studies and follow-up reports, he noted, asserting that no amount would be transferred to projects in recipient countries unless via direct dealing with the contractor or main implementer.
"Kuwait Fund's administration is keen to adopt best studies and reports before implementing any project, in addition to taking part in tenders offer and follow-up, and checking all legal procedures," affirmed Al-Bader.
Meanwhile, Al-Bader said the Fund will reconsider financing the electric power transmission network in Beirut, which suffered major damages due to the explosion, after consulting with Lebanese officials.
Kuwait Fund began its first development project in Lebanon in 1966 through a contribution to finance the Gonyah Power Station, Al-Bader added, noting the total loans given to Lebanon, up to now, have covered 27 projects in various sectors, including industry, energy, water, sewerage, transportation, agriculture, and social.
Participants at the International Conference on Support to Beirut and the Lebanese People have pledged to provide urgent aid and relief, worth of EUR 252 million (USD 297 million), for victims of the deadly blast that occurred in Beirut Port.
For his part, His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah headed Kuwait's delegation at the event and announced his country's willingness to support Lebanon in facing the disaster through re-allocating USD 30 million-worth of prior commitments by Kuwait Fund in favor of the Arab state, in addition to USD 11 million in relief, medical, and food aid, and donations by Kuwait charities.