The Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic development (KFAED) will grant the government of Lebanon a soft loan worth 20 million Kuwaiti Dinars ($65 million) to finance the Litani River Irrigation project in Southern Lebanon. The loan will have an annual interest rate of two percent to be repaid over 25 years with a seven percent grace period. Work on the project is expected to commence before the end of 2002, reported the official KUNA news agency.
KFAED’s contribution to the Litani project is the largest loan the fund has ever awarded to another state. The total cost of the irrigation scheme is $500 million, $100 million of which will be funded by the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development and the rest by the Lebanese government.
The Litani River National Office will oversee the project’s implementation of transporting 110 million cubic meters of water annually from the river to villages in southern Lebanon for irrigation and drinking purposes and the construction of an irrigation network and water treatment plants for a 15,000 hectare area.
The project is expected to boost Southern Lebanon’s agriculture production and increase employment opportunities. General Director of KFAED Bader Al-Humaidi stated that the fund was ready to finance other ventures in Lebanon. He confirmed that KFAED pledged $300 million to Lebanon in the past, $100 million of which was used for road repairs. — (menareport.com)
© 2002 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )